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Full text of "Voyages of discovery in the Arctic and Antarctic seas and round the world [microform] : being personal narratives of attempts to reach the North and South Poles, and of an open-boat expedition up the Wellington Channel in search of Sir John Franklin and Her Majesty's ships "Erebus" and "Terror", in Her Majesty's boat "Forlorn Hope", under the command of the author to which are added an autobiography, appendix, portraits, maps and numerous illustrations"

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Vincent Broolu, Day & Son, Lith- 











AMD or AN 






pfrtrniit, jnnps, nnli numttonx HIlustrntionB. 



Chirf Medical Officer, Naturalist, and OeologiU to the Expeditiom. 

VOL. I. 

I ; 

loiition : 


[j<!l riiiM» re!eived.'\ 



printed by gii.dekt and rivinfjton, limitbli, 

ST. jiihn's square. 









Sittfptttfiill)) DtHu.ittH 




K.O., K.T., K.P., G.CSI., AMD G.C.M.O., 


















yiiiiior United Sin'ici' Club, 


Having had the good fortune to be engaged in three of 
the most memorable expeditions of the present century 
— with Parry, in his attempt to reach the North Pole, in 
the year 1827; with Ross, in his Antarctic voyage during 
the years 1839-43 ; and having had command of a boat 
expedition in search of Franklin in 1852-3 — affording me 
such ample opportunities for adding to our knowledge of 
these regions, both Arctic and Antarctic, I have ventured 
to bring before the public my own experiences, and I do 
so more especially at the present time, because there has 
been a renewal of interest in favour of Polar research and 
discovery since the return of the late spirited private 
expeditions sent out from this country, the Continent, 
and America. 

Devoted as I have been from my earliest years to Polar 
discovery, in both north and south, my main object in the 
following pages (condensed from voluminous diaries I had 
been in the habit of keeping from my first entering the 
navy, with numerous illustrations, all from my own pencil 
sketches taken on the spot) is to be useful to future 
explorers, who may be destined to follow me into these 
little known but highly interesting regions of our globe, 



for which purpose I have given plans for reaching both 
I^oles, North and South, as a conclusion to the Antarctic 
and Arctic voyages, at the end of the first volume. I 
have also introduced five panoramas of the coast-line of 
the new glaciated southern continent we had the good 
fortune to discover in our first voyage south, drawn on a 
large scale, with the Great Barrier and remarkable bergs, 
so as to give full effect to the appearance of this wonder- 
ful land, and which, I trust, will be found novel and 
striking features in the book. Nor am I without hope 
that the many incidents and adventures met with in the 
course of an eventful life, together with the popular way 
in which I have introduced and described the more 
scientific observations throughout the work in summaries, 
may amuse and interest the general reader. If I may 
judge from the deep interest I have always taken in 
the perusal of voyages and travels, I think I may fairly 
assume that such a work as the present one — which, by 
the gracious permission of his Royal Highness, I have 
dedicated to the Duke of Edinburgh, and the officers of 
the Royal Navy— may be useful to my younger brother- 
officers by calling their attention to the many opportunities 
and wide field of observation which the naval service 
offers in the pursuits of natural history, geology, geo- 
graphy, and the collateral sciences, such a book I should 
myself have considered a great boon as a work of 
reference on my first entrance into the navy. 

Although late in life for commencing such an under- 
taking, the whole of these pages have gone through my 
own hands, and have been carefully revised by myself 
before the proof-sheets went to the press. In the same 



way I have seen my pencil sketches and maps trans- 
ferred to the stone under my own supervision, and the 
cover engraved from my own design. 

Having taicen a very prominent part in the search for 
Franklin, I have felt it due to myself, considering the 
anomalous position I was then placed in, to reprint the 
whole of the Admiralty correspondence, and the testi- 
monials in the Appendix, after the Boat Voyage, that 
my share in the search might not be left open to miscon- 
struction. The departure from a strictly chronological 
arrangement of those voyages arises from my having 
decided to give precedence to the Antarctic voyage, as 
being of fresher interest to the general reader than the 
narratives of the Arctic voyages, and placing my Auto- 
biography, being of subordinate interest, last instead 
of first, the latter embracing my general services in the 
navy, together with my pedestrian tours through England 
and Wales, so as to maintain an unbroken chain throughout 
an eventful life,— thus dividing the whole work into four 
parts. The first volume embraces the voyages towards 
the two Poles, and ends by my plans for reaching both 
Poles. The Franklin Search commences the second 

Before I bring this preface to a close I desire to return 
my best thanks to the Lords of the Treasury for their 
considerate kindness in permitting me to have the free 
use of the blocks which bed been employed in illus- 
trating my Boat Voyage for the Blue Books in the Par- 
liamentary returns of the Franklin Search ; also to 
Messrs. Pigott and Reid, of her Majesty's Stationery 
Office, to whom I am deeply indebted for the trouble 



they took upon themselves in searching for the blocks, 
and forwarding them to my publishers, through the 
kind and friendly intercession of my esteemed friend 
John Barrow, Esq. To the latter, and to Professor Owen, 
of the South Kensington Museum of Natural History, I 
owe my best thanks for their friendly encouragement 
during my labours in seeing my work through the press. 
And whilst writing this, the announcement of the pro- 
motion of Professor Owen to be a Knight Commander of 
the Bath, in reward for his long, laborious, and dis- 
tinguished services to science, is most gratifying to me, 
now that, after a long friendship of nearly half a 
century with which he has honoured me, I have at last 
the pleasure of congratulating him as Sir Richard 
Owen, K.C.B., F.R.S. 

To Messrs. Carruthers and Sharp, keepers of the 
botanical and ornithological departments of the Museum, 
I am also much indebted for their kindness in permit- 
ting their artists — Messrs. Wilson and Morgan — to make 
drawings of my Tartary oak and Tasmanian fossils, &c., 
the fossil willow, I learn, whilst these pages are passing 
through the press, has been named after me by the 
German Professor Von Ettingshausen, and for this com- 
pliment I here take the opportunity to return the Pro- 
fessor my best thanks. The Esquimaux dogs, the three 
penguins, the two lestrises, young and egg, with my 
remarkable duck, also drawn on the stone at the 
Museum by the first-named artist, will add a pleasing 
variety to the number of landscape illustrations in the 
two volumes, and are the only illustrations not sketched 
by myself. 

Pt eface. tx 

To Messrs. Vincent Brooks, Day and Son, I am indebted 
for the excellent way in which they have produced the 
numerous lithographs from my sketches which have been 
entrusted to them ; and also for the three portraits 
enlarged from a Daguerreotype and two miniatures. 

The engravings on wood, forming the heads and vig- 
nettes of the chapters, have been executed by Mr. J. D. 
Cooper with his accustomed skill and care, from sketches 
of my own. 

To my publishers I return my best thanks, not only for 
the kind way in which they have met my wishes in carry- 
ing out the plan of my work, but for many valuable 
suggestions. Also to Mr. Gordon G. Flaws, a literary 
gentleman, to whom, as reader, I am greatly indebted 
for the Index and valuable suggestions in my labours. 
Lastly, I have to thank Mr. J. Thompson, the manager 
of Messrs. Gilbert and Rivington, for the kind interest 
he has taken in forwarding the sheets through the press. 
I will add, finally, that this work, which comprises 
in itself three of the most memorable voyages of this 
century, may save the reader the trouble of having 
to refer to each in separate books ; and should these two 
volumes meet with the approval of the public, I shall not 
regret the labour I have experienced in launching my 
" two-decker" on the ocean of literature. 

R. Mccormick. 

Hecla Villa, Wimbledon, 
January ist, 1884. 



|3ait J. 


Dqurture from England -At Madcira-Ascont of Pico Ruivo 


Visit to the con vents - 

-<^^l>servati<)ns round the roast - At Santa 
(ruz -A Nelson recollection- Porta Praya -The i,a..l,ah- 
iree revisUed-St. Don.ingo- An interior- -Si. Paul's Rods 
-A perilous adventure- Booby birds at hon.e-Uatlle with 
crabs— Geology of St. Paul's Rocks .... 


Trinidad-IJotanical and geological features of the Nine-pin Rock 
-Our Christmas dinner at the Equator- Letting in the 
yc'ar,84o-St. Helena-Its scenery-i Visit to Lon'gJoocl^ 
rsapoleonsapartments— His tomb -Ladder Hill 


A deep sounding-.Africa sigi.ted-In Simon's Bay-Excursion 
to Cape 1 own-I-armer I>eck- His .jueer hostelry-A Dutch 
wine-grower and his wines-Ascent of Table Mountain- 
Alanons Island — Possession Island . 











At Kcrguelen's Island — My find of fossil wood— Remarkable 
geological features — First boat's expedition for exploring 
Cumberland Hay — Camping ashore— The Southern Cross— 
Exploration under difficulties ...... 49 


Second boat-expedition —Arched Rock — Penguin Cove — Orni- 
thological and botanical specimens— Our bird-soups — A 
large cabkige — (Ire^'son Hiy discovered— A hard day's work 
— Clinkstone Hill— A langevous adventure in search of teal 
for our larder —A temj)cstuoiis night ... . -65 


New Ray discovered —Club-moss Ray — Seals for supper — Find 
a coal-seam — A wet bed in a wintry night on the rocks ^ 
Provisions exhausted — Return to the Knbiis — Packing the 
fossil tree — Burrowing for " niglit petrels" — Farewell to the 
island .......... 78 



Cieol()gi<:al Rcuiinc of Kerguelen's Island 



Our boatswain drowned — Sighting the South-west Cape — Severe 
gales — Our sails blown into ribbons — Reach Tasmania — At 
the theatre, Hobart Town — A comi)linientary dinner — An 
invitation from Sir John Franklin, governor of the island— 
The first house built in the colony— Richmond — A kangaroo 
hunt — .\ horse-race — Going to Government House ball 
under difficulties 



A drive across the island to Launceston — Over Jordan and through 
Jericho — The Vale of Jerusalem — Campbell 'lown — Epping 
Forest — Ornithological specimens — Excursion down the 
Tamar to George Town — Return on horseback —Convicts on 
a sheep flirm ~.\ fossil tree ...... 





Kxcursion to I'ort Arthur — Inspection of convicts — Dog sentinels 

— I'lie tcssclatcd pavement — Tlie coal-mines — Bick at Hobart 
Town— A funeral procession of boats— Coinplinientary l)all— 
Laying the foundation-stone of the new Government House 

— {"areweil to Tasmania ....... 



First voyage towards the South Pole — Auckland Islands — 
Knderby Island — Excursion up an almost impervicins ravine 
— IJotanical features — Ewing Island--.S<i«(ly liay — Albatross 
eggs— Ornithology of the islands — Departure . . .129 


(■ampl)ell Island - Both ships aground- -Albatross and lestris 
shooting — An albatross wooing — A dull Christmas Day — Our 
first iceberg— Ocean birds — Bagging specunens while under 
full sail— Sunrise at midnight — In the ice-pack — Our 
T\velftIi-cake--Man overboard ...... 



Discovery of a southern continent — My first view — Take 
sketches — We land on Possession Island — Penguins by the 
million — We hoist the British flag — Return to the ships — 
\ magnificent scene — High peaks — Mounts Sabine and 
Herschell — Within 500 miles of the Magnetic Pole — Mount 
Melbourne — Franklin Island, ivc. ..... 



Tlio volcanic mountains "Erebus' and "{'error'' -Creat barrier of 
ice -The Barrier Bight — \ fascinating scene — Twenty-four 
hours on deck — Seals and whales —F.xploration of McMurdo 
Bay 164 


Remarkable rock, like a Roman gateway— Singular black dyke on 
mountain summit —Off Possession Island — Cape McCormick 
— Balleny's Island — Frozen fresh meat — The aurora australis 
— On the return track— Sighting Bruin light 





Summary of our attempt 1o reach the South Pole — Physical 
features of the Antarctic continent — Climate — Geoloyy — 
General sketch of changes in the earth's surface . 



Quail-shooting at Risdon — Lindisferne limestone fossils— I-evees 
— The Erebus and Terror ball — Visiting — The bushranger 
defeated . , . iy6 


Leave for Sydney — Visits — Trip to Paramatta — New Zealand — 
Description — Visit to the chief Pomartf — His farm 



Trip to Waimate— The missionary settlement — Ascent of the 
mountain —Descend the crater— The sulphur springs - 
Pomarc^ visits the ships . . . . . . .223 


Up the Kava-Kava River — Excursions — The Kiddi-Kiddi River 
and Falls — Public discussion between Protestant and Roman 
Catholic missionaries ....... 


Trip inland, and my night out in the woods— Shooting birds — 
Sail from the Bav if Islands after three months' stay . 


Second attempt to reach the South Pole — In the ice-pack — Our 
Christmas ^are — Large penguins — A ballroom cut in the ice — 
Our Anta' -tic hotel— A white petrel falls a victim to the New 





Closely beset in the pack — Episode of the dying petrel— .\nimal 

instinct — Twelfth-night — The Christmas Berg . . , 256 






A heavy gale — Waves of solid ice —Seals, wlialcs, and penguins — 
Kight hundred miles of the pack passed through — In the 
open again — Shot a lestris — A beautiful view of the great 
ice barrier — Highest latitude reached ..... 262 


Collision with the 7Jr/w off the icebergs— Our perilous situation — 
Our ship all but crippled — Captain Ross's self-possession — 
Doubling Cape Horn — Loss of a sailor — Land in sight — 
Hog Island ......... 



The Falkland Islands — Promotion to all except the medical 
officers — !^ shooting excursion — Natural history of the 
islands — The place described — Bullock-hunting — Black- 
necked swan ........ 283 


Trip to Swan Bay — Description of the camp — Streams of stones 
— Bird-shooting — Departure . . .... 



Hermite Island, Cape Horn — Tierra del Fuego — The natives and 
their wigwams — My solitary exploration of the island — Ascent 
of Forster's Peak . 299 


Excursion up to the summit of Cape Spencer — Bird-shooting— 
Difficulty with a native as to plunder — My diplomatic 
manoeuvres — We leave the island 313 

Summary of Hermite Island — Geology— Ornithology — Botany. 



Sccuiid visit to the Falkland Islands — Berkeley Sound— Search for 
spct ime'.is — Birds and eggs- -Summary .... 






Third attempt to reach tlic South Pole - Our farmyard of 
live-stock — Our Christmas dinner-party — Iccl)ergs — Louis 
I'iiilipi)e Island— Taking possession of the Pyramidal Island 
— Thirty-eight days in the pack 33: 


Our highest latitude 71° 30', and longitude 14'= 51' 10" — We 
complete the circumnavigation of the globe and cross the 
circle — Deep-sea soundings — By avoiding Weddell's track 
we fail to reacli iiis latitude — Birds —The comet of 1843 


Summary of the last voyage south -.\struiiomical observations — 
The vast barrier of ice and the continent bevond 




Simon's Bay — Excursion to Cape Point — Stellenbosch — St. Helena 

— Ascend Ladder Hill — Fairyland 360 


Ascension Island— Up the Green Mountain — Rio de Janeiro — 

Corvo— Scilly Islands — Woolwich— The expedition paid off 367 

|3art \l. 


YEAR 1827. 


Departure from the Nore — Arrival at Hammerfest — Visit of the 
" Belle of Lapland " and her party to the Ilccla - Ptarmigan- 
shooting— Magpies held sacred— Departure— Crow's-nest got 
up to fore-topgallant mast-head — First ice seen — Fall in with 
whalers — Sight Spitzbergen — Cloven Cliff— Enter the jjack 
in a gale — Red Beach — The attempt to start in the boats 
from the pack — Verlegen Hook — Highest latitude reached — 
Seven Islands 







Hecla secured in Treurenbcrg B.iy— I land in Hecia Cove, and 
shoot a reindeer— A walrus family circle— Cutting a canal 
through the ice— Departure of polar boats— Commence my 
duties in charge of a watch— Deer-shooiing excursion to 
opi)osite shore-Shoot a polar be.^r- Ship driven ashore— 
Flora of the islands . 




Return of the polar boats— Seal-shooting- Ptarmigan-shooting— 
Under weigh from Hecla Cove— Land at Red 13each— Home- 
ward-bound ... 


Riisumd of the geological and botanical featuresof the island —An 

arctic cemetery— Why the expedition failed 



List of reindeer shot in Treurenberg Bay, Spitzbergen, by the 

officers and crew of H.M.S. Hecla in the year 1827 . .422 


Plan for reaching the North Pole 

Plan for reaching the North Pole by the Spitzbergen Sea ". " V.\ 

Plan for an attempt to reach the South Pole 7,^ 

• • . 430 

NOL. I. 




i i 


I ! 



Portrait of Autlior frjiitis/yucc 

Ma]) of South I'olo ....... ru:\t Didkalioii 

Summit of Pico Ruivo above the Cloiuls 

Homan-em-pcc ..... 

The Peak of Teyde .... 

Baobab-tree, Porta Praya, Ca|)e Verde . . . to face 

St. Paul's Rocks .... 

Map of St. Paul's Rocks . 

Nine-pin Rock, Trinidad 

Fairyland, St. Helena ...... to face 

Napoleon"s Tomb, St. Helena . 

Cleft-summit of Table Mountain 

Hligh's Cap 

Basalt or Foysil-wood Mount 

Top of Cumberland Bay, Kerguelen .... to face 

Two bearings of Sentry-Box, entrance of Cumberland Bay . 

Remarkable Phonolite Hill in North Bay, Cumberland Bay 

(Ircgson Bay, Cumberland Bay, Kerguelen . . to face 

Coal Seam, Duck Bay, Cumberland Bay ..... 

Clul) Moss Bay, Cumberland Bay, Kerguelen . . to face 

I'.xploring Boat off Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen . . „ 

Boat Refuge, Cumberland Corner ...... 

Arched Rock, Christmas Harbour 

Cumberland Bay and Senlry-bo.v:, with Foul Bay between the 
Arched Rock and Cumberland Point, as seen from Summit 
of Crater Peak 

Crater Peak, Christmas Harbour ...... 

1 1 












l-'ossil Tree, Macquarie Plains . . . .100 




List of Iilusli'alions and Maps. 

■(. II 

Tcsselatcd Pavement, Eagle- Hawk Neck, Tasmania . 
An almost impervious Ravine in Auckland Islands 
Two Lcstrises, Younj,', and ICgg ..... 

Panorama of Victoria Land 

Peak of Mount Isrebus, 120 miles distant . 
Panorama of Mounts Erebus and Terror . . 

The Barrier Uight . 

Remarkable rock, like a Roman gateway . 

Remarkable black trap dyke, intersecting a lofty mountain 

Mount Wellington, Tasmania 

Risdon, Tasmania ....... 

Lindisferne Fossil-leaves, Tasmania .... 

Poma.e's Pah, Bay of Islands 

Kiddi-Kiddi Falls, New Zealand .... 

Three penguins 

Terror off a Berg ....... 

Great Antarctic Barrier 

Cape Horn 

Cape Spencer, Tierra del Fuego .... 

St. Martin's ove, Tierra del Fuego .... 

Louis Phil- jpe Land 

Panorama of Antarctic Bergs ..... 
Little Table Island, Spitzbergen, the northernmost land 
Smeerenberg Harbour, Spit/bergen .... 
Seven Islands ........ 

Walden Island, Spitzbergen 

Cloven Cliff, Spitzbergen 

Hecla Cove, Sjjitzbergen ..... 
Hills west side of Treurenbcrg Bay .... 
Remarkable round hill, Treurenberg Bay, Spitzbergen 
Red Beach, Spitzbergen 







• >» 




to face 






peak . 


to face 










to face 


• )i 


• i> 




• i> 


• >» 




ffld of I 




to face 








to face 

























of Voyage 


























DURING THE YEARS 1839-1843. 


VOL. I. 


. ! 




i W 




20 V\«'sl 10 

I-, I.; 


170 East ico" 

\V. & K.of C.iM'eimii'li 




Suiiiiiiit of I'ico Ruivo above the Clouds. {See p<ti^c 6.) 






Departure from England — At Madeira — Ascent of Pico Ruivo. 

Thursday, Scptemhcf iglli, 1839. — At nine wc pro- 
ceeded down the river to Gillini^hani Reach, and came 
to an anchor, near the Terror^ oft the church. Here we 
remained some days — to swing the ship's head round the 
compass for the local attraction, and for the ship's com- 

B 2 


'I V 






I i 

I f 

4 Voyages of Discovery. 

pany to receive their advance pay. On the afternoon 
of the 25th we weighed, anchoring for the night off the 
buoy of the Mouse, and on the following morning the 
Hecate steamer towed us into Margate roads. Here we 
were detained by westerly winds until the 30th, when we 
got under weigh at seven p.m., and met with boisterous 
weather down Channel, passing the splendid new light on 
the Start, flashing brightly every minute on the lee-beam. 
During a gale, accompanied by fog, we lost sight of our 
consort the Ten'or, and did not see her again until after 
our arrival at Madeira. 

October 20th. — Between eight and||ine a.m. the De- 
sertas were sighted on the port-quaifer, and the island 
of Madeira itself ahead, having by no means so verdant 
and fertile an aspect, when seen from the sea, as might 
have been expected. 

Monday, 21st. — I went on shore, accompanied by our 
passenger. Lieutenant Eardley Wilmot, of the horse 
artillery, and after a ramble through the place, visiting 
the news-rooms and market-place, returned on board at 
1.30 p.m. 

Thursday^ i.\th. — The Terror arrived, and as soon as 
she had anchored I went on board of her, and from 
thence to the shore. After dining with Dr. Smith, a 
resident in the island, we rode up the steep side of the 
mountain above the town, as far as the church of "Our 
Lady of the Mountain," forming a most conspicuous 
object near its summit, as seen from the sea. It was a 
charming evening, and the view of the shipping in the 
roads, and the whole scene beneath us formed a magnifi- 
cent panorama. On our return to the town we paid a visit 
to Mr. Mulr, whose family showed us some remarkable 
encrustations from Porta de Lorenco, and gave me an 
invitation to join a party to-morrow for the ascent of 
Pico Ruivo, on the north side of the island and its highest 
mountain. We next repaired to the consul's, where we 


i- . 

Asceni of Pico Rnivo. 


met Captains Ross and Crozicr, joined them in a cup of 
coffee, and returned on board, calling alongside of the 
Terror on our way to the Erebus. 

Friday^ 25///. — I left the ship at six a.m., and at 7.15 
a party of six of us started for the ascent of Pico Ruivo. 
The morning dawned very fine as we mounted the 
horses ready for us, at Mr. Muir's store, with the cus- 
tomary guides, the artillery-officer and the surgeon from 
the Terror having also joined our party. Six miles from 
Funchal was our first halting-place, at a venda called 
" Camacho," where we got some coarse, dark bread, and 
the ordinary wine of the country. Three miles farther on 
we passed some cascades, having a view from this of 
Porto Santo, Porta de Lorenco, and the Dcserlas. We 
lunched on a bank commanding a fine view of the valley 
beneath, and a steep rock overhanging the sea, at a place 
called San Antonio-de-zaza Portello, sixteen miles from 
Funchal. At 12.15 ^^^ reached Porta de Cruz, about a 
mile on, by a pretty descent. Here we rested at a small 
venda, with the usual fare of coarse bread and sour 
wine, with spirits as fiery as the wine was sour. Whilst 
our party were thus refreshing themselves, I availed my- 
self of the brief interval to stroll down a winding path, 
through the village, to an inlet of the sea, at the base of 
a high rock, a quarter of a mile or so from the venda, 
when, from taking a wrong turn on my way back, I was 
very near missing my party altogether, who had started 
from the venda before I got back. However, falling in 
with one of the guides, I soon overtook the cavalcade. 
At 2.30 p.m. we passed Fayal, and a river winding 
through a deep valley, enclosed by rugged and lofty 
mountains, presenting scenery of a very grand descrip- 
tion. Our course next followed a very circuitous path, 
steep and precipitous. Here a very remarkable rock in 
the shape of a pillar riaQ^out of the sea perfectly isolated, 
like a lighthouse, with a heavy surf breaking at its base. 





f. il 


6 Voyages of f){scovcry. 

At 3.40 p.m. passed the Church of St. Anne's. I 
alighted from my horse and walked round the interior. 
Evidently no pains had been spared in ornamenting it in 
the usual Portuguese fashion. From this, a winding lane 
led us to the inn at St. Anne's, " Caza de Plaiz," which we 
reached at four p.m., where we took up our quarters for the 
night. It is kept by Setior Luiz, a Porluguese, who is 
also a large vine-grower, and consequentlydoesnotdepend 
on the inn for his livelihood, it being seldom frequented 
excepting in the summer season. The summit of Pico 
Ruivo forms a grand and striking object, the most 
prominent feature in the landscape as seen from the 
window of the room in which I slept. It was at the 
time I saw it, 5.30 p.m., partially enveloped in clouds, 
the mist now and then lifting and leaving the highest 
peaks visible. We had a cool, cloudy day for our ride 
of twenty-five miles. The evening cleared up bright and 
starlight. The horse I rode was sure-footed, free, 
and spirited, although twelve years old. Our course 
lay through a variety of charming scenery — mountain, 
glen, hill, and valley, diversified by woods. The road 
in many places was so steep and rugged, being strewed 
with fragments of rock, that we frequently had to dis- 
mount and lead our jaded steeds ; at other times, wind- 
ing through lanes with hedgerows of blackberry, whortle- 
berry, broom, furze, and heaths, with the magnificent 
hydrangea, of a bright azure-blue colour. The chest- 
nut seemed to be the most generally diffused of the 
native trees of the island — and of course the vine everv- 
where. We passed a variety of fine waterfalls. Birds 
were very scarce ; I only saw here and there a small 
finch or warbler, with a swallow or two, and in the 
garden of the inn was a blackbird. 

We were quite ready for dinner on alighting at the inn ; 
but no visitors being expected, our arrival evidently 
caused bustle and stir amongst the household, preparing 



I H 

■: ( 

l: \ 


r ride 

It and 


re wed 

o dis- 
f the 
n the 

|e inn ; 



Homan-ein-pcc. 7 

rooms and beds for our reeeption. The fowls were still 
living that were destined for our repast, to which we did 
not sit down to table till seven p.m. 

Saturday, 26tli. — Arose at 2.30 a.m., and soon after- 
wards we mounted our horses, rode down the carriage-road 
to the gate, when, entering the main road, we followed a 
winding lane to the right, which took us to the foot of 
the mountain. The morning was very fine and starlight, 
and being so early the scene was one of extraordinary 
beauty, the atmosphere so pellucidly clear, that the 
planet Venus appeared at least double its usual diameter, 
shining at the same time with a brilliancy never seen in 
our English clime. As we looked back, ocean and sky 
seemed blended in one, having no visible tangible hori- 
zon save where a bank of fleecy white clouds, reflecting 
the rays of the sun — though that magnificent orb itself 
was still below the horizon — had the appearance of a 
wreath of snow crossed by red rays, like a bridge of 
burnished gold. The air was keen and chilly, but most 

The first part of the ascent is through a shrubby under- 
wood ; the acclivity a broad, barren ridge strewed with 
fragments of rock. On passing through a gate a singular 
mass of rock presents itself, standing perfectly isolated, 
and bearing ample evidence of having been the remnant 
of an ancient greenstone dyke, which, from its hardness, 
had hitherto resisted the atmospheric changes under 
which the surrounding softer rocks had disappeared in the 
denudation of the surface. It is called the " Homan-em- 
pee," and is perhaps some twenty feet high. At about 
six feet from the ground, a solitary bush or shrub grows 
out of a crevice in the rock apparently without a particle 
of soil for its roots to strike in or to sustain its life, beyond 
the rain it receives from the clouds. I brought away 
with me a specimen of the plant, a piece of the rock, in 
which it seemed to thrive, and also a rough pencil sketch 







1 n 

y V' 


Voyages of Discovery. 

of it. At six a.m. we rode along the edge of a steep 
precipice, overhanging a deep valley, from the bottom of 
which craggy masses of rock rise in the wildest confusion, 
some bare and sterile, others jutting out from trees and 
shrubs, embosomed in green foliage. This spot is the 
wildest and grandest piece of scenery we met with through- 
out our whole excursion. It is said to bear a striking 
resemblance to the " coral," only on a far more magnifi- 
cent and imposing scale, and is called the " Torrihas." 
It is not far from the " Homan-em-pee." Soon after 
passing it, at 6.45 am., we alighted from our horses, and, 
leaving them in charge of the guides, we completed the 
remainder of the ascent on foot. 

The track now became a winding one through tree- 
heath, with which the acclivity at its upper part is clothed ; 
numbers of them dead and withered, some with their 
trunks and branches barked and blanched white, many of 
them trees of considerable size. Near the summit, wind- 
ing amongst these withered forms of vegetation, the track 
suddenly divides, one branching to the left, and the other 
to the right, rendering it doubtful which of them was the 
nearest way to the top, and led to the highest peak. The 
young merchant, Mr. Muir, our guide, with myself, being 
the foremost of the party, we agreed to separate, he 
taking the left, and I the right, which proved to be the 
right one for me, for after proceeding a few paces, I found 
myself standing alone on the highest point of the peak, 
so that I was the first of our party who set foot on the 
summit, at 7.20 a.m. I had not long to wait before my 
companion's head emerged from the bushes on the oppo- 
site side ; and before long the remainder of our party 
assembled on the summit, which we soon found by our 
barometrical measurement to be 61 76 feet above the level 
of the sea. Saw a sheep or two, with lambs white as 
snow, feeding on the acclivity, where there is abundant 
vegetation, chiefly of tree-heath, with masses of rock 

! ii 


I- Li I. 






Breakfast. 9 

scattered about. The hi^^licst part of the peak is green- 
stone, having only a few straggling bushes of the tree- 
heath, very much stunted in growth, of which I collected 
a few specimens, and also of the greenstone. The 
solitary note of a small bird alone broke the silence of the 
scene even at this elevation. A passing mountain mist 
soon obscured all distant objects from view, and wc had 
only one glance of the sea through a temporary opening 
in the mist. At 9.20 a.m. we commenced our descent, 
the broom forming the second zone of vegetation below 
the heaths ; next came a belt of ferns. At 9.45 a.m. we 
reached the spot where we had left our horses, when, seat- 
ing ourselves amidst the rocks, fragments, ferns, and 
brooms, we breakfasted with keen appetites on cold fowl 
and ham, bread-biscuit, coffee, and porter, which we 
had brought with us in a basket, and black grapes, bought 
on the way up. 

At 10.15 '^•'^' ^^G remounted our steeds and continued 
the descent, returning by another route to 
Weather misty. We passed through a variety of beautiful 
scenery, and close to a fme waterfall of 400 to 500 feet, 
and across a bridge over the River Fayal. At one 
minute we were rounding the steep and sharp angle of a 
descent, and the next up an abrupt and rugged ridge. As 
we proceeded our road again changed, and we rode along 
a path of soft soil, flanked on either side by shrubs and 
wild flowers, amongst which flitted butterflies, grass- 
hoppers, and locusts. At one p.m. we alighted at the 
venda of "Cruzinha," to afford both guides and horses 
some rest and refreshment, which as usual consisted of 
small loaves of dark coarse bread and sour wine ; I found 
the best thing the fresh cool water from the spring. These 
vendas all very much resemble each other — mere rudely- 
built stone huts, thatched, the bare ground forming the 
floor, a small counter on it, a green bottle of spirits, a 
tumbler, and a tin drinking-pot; behind it the cask of sour 




i ■ t 




! ;i 

: } 


Voyaocs of Discovery. 

wine. The loaves of bread are arranged on a shelf in the 
wall ; a bench between the counter and the door, serving 
as a seat for visitors, completes the inventory of the venda. 
At 1.30 p.m. we continued our journey, when some 
drizzling rain began to fall, shrouding the surrounding 
scenery in mist. At four p.m. a sudden turn in the 
road gave us a glance of the sea and the shipping. The 
evening cleared up fine ; and I saw a buzzard hovering 
overhead. At 4.50 p.m. we alighted at the last venda, 
" Camento da Meis," overlooking the bay. We descended 
the hill by a paved road, having " Our Lady of the Moun- 
tain "on the right. We reached Funchal at 5.30 p.m., 
and got on board at six p.m. 

The weather during our excursion proved most favour- 
able; our horses, small as they W'ere, carried us ad- 
mirably throughout a journey of certainly not less than 
fifty miles in the two days, over the most rugged country, 
which none but sure-footed animals accustomed to such 
work could possibly have accomplished, yet they exist on 
the m.ost scanty fare. Their owners, the guides, walked 
the whole of the distance, and managed to keep up with 
their horses in a most extraordinary manner, la) ing hold of 
their tails, and urging them onwards by a peculiar shout . 
They wore small blue cloth skull-caps, with a point 
nearly a foot in length, tapering upwards from the crown. 
The total expenses of our trip amounted to $64,515, or 
1 4/. OS. 6d. 

The following memorandum was deposited on the 
summit of Pico Ruivo : — 

"On Saturday, the 26th of October, 1839, a party of 
officers from her Majesty's ships Ercbiis and Terror 
ascended to this spot, in company with James Muir, Esq., 
of Funchal, for the purpose of making barometrical ob- 
servations. They left St. Anne's at 3.30 a.m., and 
reached this station at seven, The lower ground was 
hidden by the clouds, previous to which the morning was 


Memorandum deposited on summit of Pico Ruivo. 1 1 

cloiiclless. The barometer stood at a mean height of 
24", thermometer 45° Fahrenheit, hygrometer D.F. 43°, 
wind N. ; observations taken every ten minutes for one 
and a half hours." 

]l()iiian-cni-pcc. {Sec f>iigc 8.) 



f „1 









''*^!^^»«£*^ ^ •'•'•.n-"";?<«SBatt«**»-- *»«»*-, 


The Peak of Tcyde. (See page 14.) 


Visit to the convents— Observations round the coast — At Santa Cruz — 
A Nelson recollection — Porta Praya — The baobab-tree revisited — 
St. Domingo — An interior— St. Paul's Rocks — A perilous adventure 
— Booby birds at home — Battle with crabs — Geology of St. Paul's 

Sunday, 27///. — I breakfasted at the Muirs, and we went 
to the pretty little English church, embosomed in shrubs 
and flowers. After the service, as I was returning on 
board, I met the surgeon of the Terror coming on shore, 
and joined him in a ramble to the convents. We first 
visited the " Incarnation," and purchased some feather- 
flowers at the revolving circular box. We next pro- 
ceeded to the " Santa Clara," and were shown into an 
upper room, where we had a sight of three of the nuns, 
from whoin we were separated by a large wire screen ; 
they handed us the flowers through a n^volving box in it. 


The Canancs. 


;en ; 
n it. 

The nuns were dressed in blaek, with large black veils 
bordered with white, terminating in a very narrow peak 
user the forehead. The celebrated Maria Clementina is 
slill an inmate of this convent ; but whether she was one 
of the ladies whom we saw I know not, as they did not 
speak a word of English. They were all tall, dark, 
middle-aged women. We returned on board at three p.m., 
when both Captains Ross and Crozier, with all the gun- 
room officers of the Terrory dined on board with us. 

Monday, 28///. — Captain Ross having given me a boat 
for the purpose of examining the incrustation bed at 
Porto Lorenco, I started at 7.30 a.m., accompanied by 
the two artillery officers, two sons of Mr. Muir, and an 
officer or two from the ships. As we rounded the eastern 
point. Brazen Head, some wild pigeons and a hawk rose 
from the rocks. Here a large dyke completely intersects 
the cliff. We pulled along shore, passed Santa Cruz 
cliffs, red, and remarkably twisted into concentric circles, 
indicating that these rocks had undergone enormous 
lateral pressure, and affording striking examples of anti- 
clinal and other forms of stratification. Passed Machico, 
and at i .45 p.m. we landed on a rock, bounding a small 
sandy cove, about 100 paces in length, from which the 
incrustation bed stretches across Point Lorenco. Two 
large curlews rose from the point as we landed. What 
is here termed the fossil-b'jd is nothing more than the 
roots and stems of the plants growing here becoming 
encrusted over with a calcareous deposit, from some 
peculiarity in the sandy soil in which they grew, the 
enclosed vegetable matter being in many instances charred 
and black. 

Thursday, ^ist. — Owing to the exposed anchorage for 
the ships, and the threatening state of the weather, 
Captain Ross, on returning on board, resolved upon at 
once getting under weigh, notwithstanding he had invited 
a party from the shore to dine with him. The Terror 


' 4 




(^ ■] 

i i 

" i 

! : 


J^oyaocs of Discovery. 

weighed at 12.30, and liove-to for us. At four p.m. a 
stronj^ breeze brou<;ht us up with her, and wc shaped a 
course for the Canary Islands. 

Sunihxy, Nov. 3/v/. — I love-to off Santa Cruz in the 
island of Teni'riffe, and a boat having been sent on shore 
for some beef, I took a passage in her, landing at the 
celebrated mole where Nelson lost an arm. We entered 
the principal church, and saw the colours taken on that 
sad mishap. They were placed very high up on the left 
side of the church, and were in a very faded, not to say 
dilapidated, condition. We met the consul on the pier, 
accompanied him home, and afterwards to the governor's, 
the Marquis de Concordia, and the commandant of marine, 
to whom we were introduced, and met the wife and sister 
of the latter, whose child was suffering from paralysis of 
the lower extremities, about which they were very anxious 
to have my advice. We returned on board with the 
consul in the health-boat (Sanadad). This island has a 
very barren aspect when seen from the sea, scorched-up, 
scoriaceous hills, thickly clothed with the Euphorbia 
Cnniansis, the most striking feature of the vegetation. 

The Archipelago of the Canaries has been called the 
Fortunate Isles, of which Santa Cruz in Teneriffe is the 
capital. (Celebrated for cochineal and the Great Dragon- 
tree, at Orotava Peak, sixty miles distant.) The Peak 
of Teyde rises from the centre of the island in the form 
of a cone 12,000 feet above the level of the sea. 
This group of islands, from their geological formation 
and natural productions, would appear to have been 
once united to the continent of Africa. According 
to Pliny and other ancient writers, they were supposed 
to have been the remnant of the submerged Adantis, 
a vast continent imagined to have been engulfed by 
some great convulsion in the earth's crust, affecting the 
bed of the Atlantic in bygone ages. Columbus was for 
a time a resident of the Canaries, before his discovery 


.s/. 7".;'"- 


of the Now World. The wild canarii-s, the ancestors of 
our pretty y('ll<)\v pets in I'Ji^land, arc here clothed in 
olive-i,frctn plunia<:;e, the hen bird often c[uite of a 
bro,\nish hue. We made sail on the following day. 

Friiiav, Stli. — We crossed the Tropic. 

Tiicsiiiiv, 12///. — Saw the island of S4I on the port *,-jL s^^^ 
l)ow, and the first flyiui^-fish, ai\d pharsalia, shoals of the 

Wednesday, \^lli. A'inc a.m. — The islands f)f St. Jago 
and Im)^o in sight, and on the following day, at 11.30 
a.m., we anchored at Porta I'raya. I went on short;, and 
made an excursion to the westward of the town for some 
mills. Shot some birds for the collection, and had some 
of the large delicious oranges for which this place is so 
justly celebrated. I extended my lonely ramble so far 
over ridges and through ravines, that I did not get back 
to the town till after dark. 

Friday, \$ih. — 1 landed this morning at the rocks, and 
crossed over the hill to the eastward of the town, to 
examine the fossil shells in the calcareous strata of the 
cliff fronting the sea, mostly a species of oyster, the 
limestone overlaid by basaltic lava. From thence I pro- 
ceeded to the large, deep ravine to the eastward, and 
which I had formerly visited when here some eight years 
ago. It is about four miles from the town. I put up 
several quail in the long grass on the plain, and shot one. 
On descending into the steep-sided ravine, which appears 
to be the breeding- place of hawks and owls, I shot two 
kestrels in it, and saw a large monkey. Returning, I 
paid a visit to my old friend tlie baobab-tree, in the 
middle of the valley, and a mile to the eastward of the 
town. It forms a very conspicuous object, having no 
other tree near it, and only a few palma-christi bushes 
scattered about the valley, the resort of a species of 
alcedq, but more allied to the jacamar in the form of the 
beak, and still more in its habits than the king-fisher. It 








Voyages of Discovery. 




preys on the locusts and other insects in the dry, parched 
valley, where it sits patient and silent till attracted by 
some passing locust, or other favourite morsel, when it 
darts off the branch of the palma-christi in pursuit, 
returning to its former position almost immediately. 
Unlike the true king-fisher, its habits exclude it from 
both water and fish. On reaching the baobab-tree, I 
ascended it, and looked for my own initials, which I had 
cut, with the year 1832, on the main stem, about two- 
thirds up the tree, when here last in that year. Time 
had impressed them deeper, and they appeared larger, 
more marked and distinct from the contraction of the 
bark around. I now added the present year, 1839, 
beneath the former one ; and after gathering some fruit, 
for there were no flowers, and taking a sketch of this 
remarkable tree, I returned at six p.m. 

Saturday, \6th. — Started about noon, accompanied 
by two of the officers of the ship, on an excursion to the 
valley of St. Domingo. For about nine miles the road 
passes over an almost sterile table-land ; the few stunted 
acacia-trees scattered sparsely over it have their branches 
all bent at right angles in one direction from the constant 
blowing of the north-east trade-wind. After we had pro- 
ceeded for about two-thirds of the way, we passed through 
a small hollow with clusters of palma-christi, or castor- 
oil plant, when a slight ascent in the angle of the road 
brought us upon a yet higher table-land, studded with 
small groves of the same plant. Within about two miles 
of the village of St. Domingo, our path all at once 
abruptly descended into a lovely valley, on a much 
larger scale than any of the others in the island, forming 
a perfect labyrinth of vegetation of the richest and 
most peculiar kind, for some two miles in extent, the 
palma-christi being here superseded by a variety of beau- 
tiful shrubs and flowers. This picturesque glen is 
enclosed in steep and rugged lofty mountain ranges. 


m:: -.. ■'" 

.f^ >(■ 



-.■•-' ■* ' 

" 'i 



, ^ -> 

^ ' . }. -x 

K iiV 

' ,(' 














^ . 












r ~ 


;■ 1 

' J 







'i ' 







Hospitable Reception. 


composed of greenstone and basalt, whose frowning 
sterility formed a strikingly grand framework in con- 
trast with the verdant landscape at their base. The 
path, winding through the centre of this valley, is 
strewed with loose stones like a water-course, and so 
narrow that the foliage of the trees, in some places, 
interlaced overhead. 

At the extremity of this valley the road divides, the 
branch to the right leading to the small village of St. 
Domingo, consisting of a score of huts on a slight rising 
ground, eleven miles from Porta Praya. It was now 
5.45 p.m., and, wearied with the heat of the day, not- 
withstanding the refreshing breeze blowing, we entered 
the best-looking house under the impression that it was 
an inn or " venda." The owner and his wife were seated 
outside their door. He kindly invited us in, and proved 
himself a most hospitable host, placing before us the 
contents of his larder, the remains of a fine cold tuikey 
with some bread, bananas and other fruit, one the size of 
a small calabash, and the drink of the islands, a kind of 
white brandy. During the conversation with our host, 
who appeared to be a very intelligent man, we learnt that 
he was an "officer in the Portuguese service. He could 
not speak English, but we managed to make ourselves 
understood in broken French, a language he spoke well. 
He was dressed in a cap and loose blue frock, belted 
round the waist. The young black slaves who attended 
us during our meal, in a row, with folded arms, were 
particularly clean and neat in appearance, and seemed 
to be most kindly treated by the mistress of the house, 
indeed more like their own children. After a cup of 
coffee, at seven p.m., we took leave of our kind and 
hospitable host and hostess. The night, though fine, 
was dark, and the road bad, so that we did not reach 
Porta Praya until ten p.m., and got on board about 
midnight. We saw no guinea-fowl during our excursion, 

VOL. I. c 



! i* 


1 1 

} i 











yoynors of Discovery 

but many ravens ; and I shot half a dozen of the king- 
fishers, or jacamars, in the morning, passing over the 
hill above the baobab-tree valley. 

JVed/iesday, 2otli. — The magnetic observations at 
Quail Island being finished, we sailed at ten a.m. with a 
fine breeze. This island of St. Jago has generally an 
arid and scorched-up aspect, covered with long wiry 
grass, abounding in locusts, yet affording sustenance to 
large herds of goats, scattered over the hills, and consti- 
tuting the chief produce of the island. The birds are : 
guinea-fowl, quail, kestrels, owls, kingfishers, or jacamars, 
tree-sparrows, and flocks of an elegant and beautiful 
little African finch which abounds in the island. There 
are some long-tailed monkeys and the finest oranges in 
the world, large, juicy, and luscious. 

Sunday, December \st, 9.30 ajii. — St. Paul's Rocks 
in sight to windward on the port-bow. Beating up all 
day for them. We have been for the last few days in the 
variables, with heavy rain and squally weather, but 
on the 25th ult. we had a fine trade-wind, the thermome- 
ter 81° ; the evening bright starlight, the pole-star being 
only a few degrees above the horizon, and in the fore- 
noon of that day the planet Venus I saw very plainly, 
nearly on a line with the main-topsail yard-arm. 

Monday, 2nd. — Captain Ross left the ship to take some 
magnetic observations on St. Paul's Rocks, Lieutenant 
Wilmot and myself accompanying him. The weather was 
fine, but owing to the strong currents and the heavy swell 
setting in amid this labyrinth of rocks, we had no small 
difficulty in effecting a landing in a small creek amongst 
the rocks, at 8.15 a.m., on the lee-side of the rocks from 
which the highest peak arises. The rebound of the surf, 
from the waves dashing in between the steep rocky ledges, 
imparted to the whole creek or basin the appearance of a 
boiling cauldron. The whole group of rocks scarcely 
exceeds half a mile in circumference. 


of a 


'• ' ; 

'',' I 



, .1, 

■V, \. 




L « 

1 \ 

" ■ 1 ;■ 

1: ! 

1^ i 


1 1 i 

■ 1 



^V. Paurs Roch. 


Whilst Captain Ross was employed about his magnetic 
observations near the landing-place, I strolled over the 
adjacent rocks on my geological survey of them, and on 
reaching the farther end of the creek, I found that I was 
separated from another island, on which some noddies 
were sitting on their nests, by a crooked strait, a few 
fathoms in wia'h, through which a very heavy surf set in 
from the sea rutside, breaking furiously on four large 
boulders of rock which obstructed the channel, in which 
a number of small voracious sharks were swimming. 
Having measured the highest peak in the island on which 
I was standing, and made it seventy feet above the sea, 
I was now desirous of examining the rocks and the birds' 
nests on the other side of the strait. But the attempt 
to cross this was not a very promising affair. However, 
I thought nothing hazard, nothing win ; so taking off my 
jacket, after laying down my gun, watch, and trout- 
basket, I at once set about it, and having gained the 
centre by leaping from rock to rock, found the rollers 
breaking here with so much force as to afford me little 
chance of securing a foothold on the next rock by 
leaping, being too far apart, so I plunged into the foam- 
ing sur*^ and swam across without any difficulty. But I 
had no sooner fairly landed on the other side than 1 
observed Wilmot, who had been following my footsteps 
from the landing-place, make an attempt to cross over ; 
when on reaching the centre rock he hesitated, on the 
approach of a heavy roller, then, attempting to retreat, 
was swept from his precarious footing into the surf, and 
instead of striking out for the spot where I was standing 
ready to assist him, and urging him so to do, he unfor- 
tunately made for the side he had just left, and was dashed 
with violence upon a rock, to which he clung in an 
exhausted state, until I had recrossed by swimming to 
windward of the rock, just in time to lend him a helping 
hand up the ledge of rocks. Captain Ross, who from 

c 2 






II' J ^A 

I I 


Voyages of Discovery. 



f !■ 



a distance had been a spectator of the whole affair, 
becoming alarmed for his safety, sent one of his boat's 
crew round to us with a rope, but by the time he reached 
us all was right again. Having seen my companion out 
of further harm's way, I crossed the noisy gulf for the 
third time, and ascended the " white rock " to the boobies' 
nests. The old birds, however, showed no disposition to 
budge an inch for me from either their eggs or young, but 
made a most determined stand in their defence. The nest 
itself is a very rude affair, a little seaweed from the rocks, 
the only form of vegetation found here, and a feather 
or two placed on the bare rock on which the egg or 
eggs related, from one to three, but mostly two, the size 
of a small duck's egg, having a rough, white, chalky 
surface. Both male and female were equally zealous in 
defence of their treasures, keeping close together for 
mutual protection, and what is most remarkable, each 
pair of birds had only one young one, and I examined 
many nests. This may be accounted for by the numerous 
voracious crabs, which swarmed on the rocky ledges, 
having destroyed the other egg or eggs, or from their 
having become rotten, for I found some in this condition. 
But I also have seen a crab after I had disturbed a bird 
from her nest carry off an egg in his claws, and that 
boldly before my face. Perhaps both causes may con- 
tribute to lessen their number. The young are about the 
size of large goslings, and covered with snow-white down. 
I brought six of them and a pair of old birds away with 
me for my ornithological collection, both alive and dead. 
Some noddies {Sterna stolida) formed a little colony above 
the boobies (Sii/a/usca), and curious enough, although 
on the other island their eggs were laid on the bare rock, 
hero the noddy had constructed a regular nest of the 
conferva which projected from the steep face of the 
rock, in a rounded form, a white, calcareous fringe 
hanging from it. The top of the nest forms nearly a 

Homes of the Boobies and the Noddies. 


plane surface, on which rests the single egg or young 
bird, for this bird only lays one egg, and, unlike the 
booby, flies off its nest without any attempt to defend it. 
The egg is about the size and shape of a plover's, but 
of a chalky-white colour, the large end sprinkled over 
with a few small brown spots. In the pools of water 
left on the rocks I observed some sea-slugs and a few 
small pilot-fish, banded black and yellow. The numerous 
small crabs, ever on the watch and hiding in the crevices 
of the rocks, were so daring, that after seizing upon an 
egg, after the bird had got off its nest, it would, if 
hard pressed in a corner, assume an attitude of deter- 
mined defiance, rising up on its slender legs, and with 
projecting eyes and pincers and mouth open, look as 
savage and ferocious as it was possible for so small a 
creature to do. Active and quick-sighted as they were, 
however, I caught three or four of them. 

The Terror's boat had now arrived with her captain 
and some of his officers ; after landing them, the boat's 
crew pulled round to the island on which I had isolated 
myself, and I availed myself of this opportunity to put 
the specimens I had collected into this boat, and row to 
the island where I had left my gun and other things, and 
then returned to the observatory. I had been in my 
shirt-sleeves for some hours, and got dry again in the sun, 
after my drenching in the foaming torrents. We all 
returned on board at six p.m., and made sail on our 
course immediately. I was employed in skinning birds 
and stowing away specimens until two a.m. I brought 
on board with me a pretty little noddy, nearly fledged, 
lor a pet, and two old boobies I shot fiying overhead 
for specimens. 

This in every way remarkable group of rocks, rising 
as they do in mid-ocean, between two continents so far 
apart, the nearest land being the coast of South America, 
between 500 and 600 miles distant, has been an enigma 







r 11 


Voyao^cs of Discovery 

to geologists, from whom, hitliurto, no very satisfactory 
account has appeared ; the rocks of which they are 
composed being somewhat sui generis, for I know of 
none with which they can be fairly classified. The 
structure and delicate veining of some of the specimens 
which I collected is most singular and striking, evidently 
metamorphosed to a certain extent. Rising so little 
above the sea level, they are constantly a-wash, not even 
the highest peak, which is seventy feet, and the white 
peak of sixty-one feet in height, can escape the surf 
thrown over them by heavy gales. The curious white 
appearance of some of the summits, so striking on ap- 
proaching them, is doubtless owing to a coating of 
guano, from their being the resort of so many sea-birds. 
But some of the specimens have a whitish substance in- 
terlaid sandwiched, as it were, between two hard brownish 
tablets, having a calcareous appearance. Others resemble 
some varieties of serpentine, ramifying, in very delicate 
fibrous veins, in all directions through the rocks. If the 
general structure of these is Neptunian, there can be no 
doubt about their having been elevated from the depths 
of the vast ocean by submarine volcanic agency during 
some great disturbance of the bed of the Atlantic, when 
the group of the Canary Islands, and maybe the Cape 
de Verdes, were isolated from the African continent. 
These, some half-dozen rocks, are situated nearly on the 
equator, in the latitude of o° 56' N., and in the longitude 
of 29° 20' W. On a steep submarine mountain — a mile 
off S., 67 K. — a 500-fathom line failed to reach the 








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Nine-pin Rock, Trinidad. (Si-f pa^e 25.) 


'rrinidad — Botanical and geological features of the Nine-pin Rock — 
Our Christmas dinner at the equator —Letting in the year 1840 — 
St. Helena— Its scenery — Visit to Longwood — Napoleon's apart- 
ments—His tomb — Ladder Hill. 

! 1 

Wednesday, \tli. — Having crossed the equator at mid- 
night, the ceremony of crossing the line was in full force 
to-day ; all those on board who had not crossed before 
went through the usual shaving and ducking on such 
occasions. I had already myself crossed it and the 
tropics twice before. 

Tuesday, \']th. — I accompanied Captains Ross and 
Crozier to make magnetic observations on the island of 
Trinidad, and after a long pull along the coast we found 
some difTiculty in finding a landing-place, from the heavy 
surf breaking everywhere along the rugged, rock-bound 
shore. The frigate-bird [Tariiypctis aqiiila) was hover- 
ing overhead as we approached the shore, and a beautiful 





I f 


Voyages of Discovery. 

little snow-white tern examined us curiously with its expres- 
sive, full, large dark eyes, within arm's length of us, as it 
followed the boat to the shore. We at last effected a 
landing in a small cove to the left of the Nine-pin Rock, 
jumping out of the boat upon a ledge flanked by a dark, 
frowning, perpendicular wall of greenstone on the right. 
It was now ten a.m. and we found ourselves cut off 
from the rest of the island, on a narrow strip of beach, 
hemmed in by inaccessible hills of greenstone, their steep 
sides strewed with loose frasrments of rock fallen from 
above, intermingled with tufts of long wiry grass and 
small ferns. I lost no time in scrambling up the side of 
the hill, by laying hold of the tufts of long wiry grass 
for support, but all further progress was soon arrested 
by walls of rock ; and whilst thus geologizing and alone, 
I heard a shout from my companions on the beach be- 
neath me for my return. When I had descended to the 
beach they had already got into the boat, and were about 
shoving off, with the intention of landing on the other 
side of the Nine-pin, so that I had to wade through the 
surf into the boat. There were numbers of white tern 
and sheerwater breeding amongst the rocks, and large 
land-crabs abounded. My companions had already 
lunched, but there was now no time left for me to follow 
their example. At two p.m. we again landed, and I at once 
began the ascent of the hill, which was covered with 
loose soil and fraguientary rocks, interspersed with long 
tufts of cyperace;e and ferns. I attained a height, 
bounded by a large mass of rock, where a great number of 
dead trees, barkless, white, and blanched, were scattered 
around in wild confusion, here and there one fixed in the 
soil in an erect position. I found by the hour of the day 
it was now time to rehirn to the boat, or I should have 
much liked to have gained a peak still above me, and, by 
crossing a deep valley to a hill on the opposite side, 
have examined the only group of living trees visible, and , 



The Nine-pin Rock. 



apparently conifera?, occupying its summit, about a mile 
distant. How all the other trees became destroyed is 
to me a mystery, for I saw no traces of goats or 
other inhabitants on the island. The elegant white 
tern alone accompanied me in my ramble, hovering in 
a circle close over my head. The ships appeared 
immediately below my feet, close in shore. On my 
return to the boat, I had a most refreshing draught of 
deliciously cool and sparkling water from a watercourse 
down the rocks where we landed. 

We next pulled round the Nine-pin Rock, a remarkable 
pillar of greenstone rising from the main ridge to a 
height of 850 feet ; on one side is a small basaltic dyke, 
and on the other a large greenstone one. Portions of 
this greenstone exhibited a very singular, mammiform 
appearance, the flat surface, embossed by numerous 
globular, bead-like excrescences in strong relief, clearly 
produced by some external influences acting upon the 
greenstone when in fusion. I have never met with any- 
thing resembling it before. Captain Ross having finished 
his observations, and these not proving satisfactory 
from the iron in the volcanic rocks ^iffecting the needle 
so much, he gave up his intention of landing to-morrow ; 
therefore, on our return on board at seven p.m., we 
made all sail for St. Helena. We left a cock and two 
hens, brought from England for the purpose, on the 
beach, with the intention of stocking the island with 
poultry, f(n the use of any shij)s touching there. 

Tuesday, 2\th. — My cabin having become filled to 
overflowing with the Government collection of speci- 
mens of natural history, I got the sect)nd master, in 
charge of the hold, to relieve me of a case by stowing 
it away there. But our matter-of-fact first lieutenant, 
to whom everything connected with science is a bore and 
an enigma, to prove his zeal for such pursuits, ordered 
it up again, as having no abiding-place there. 

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1 1 

26 Voyages of Discovery, 

About eleven p.m. on Christmas Eve I saw the great 
constellation of the southern hemisphere, the " Southern 
Cross," just appearing above the horizon, for the first 
time this voyage. But really I can see nothing very 
striking in the form of the cross Itself ; it owes much of 
the interest attached to it, I believe, to our own associa- 
tions with it, and still more to the vicinity of those singular 
and remarkable nebulae, " Magellan's Clouds," and that 
strange black void, the " Coal-sack," for much of the 
beauty claimed for it. It cannot, I think for one moment, 
be compared with those striking and glorious constella- 
tions of our northern hemisphere, the " Great Bear," 
" Ursa Major," and " Orion." But there is undoubtedly 
a marvellous interest attached to the " Magellan Clouds " 
and the telescopic star nebuLTc in this portion of the 
heavens astronomically, to which I may have occasion to 
refer again in subsequent pages. 

Wednesday^ 25///.— We pass our first Christmas Day 
at sea, with light airs and fine weather, beating up for 
St. Helena. After divisions we had prayers and a sermon 
from Captain Ross. I saw a large spermaceti whale 
spouting about a mile distant on the port-bow. At 
three p.m. we had Captain Ross and the gentlemen from 
the midshipmen's berth to dine in the gun-room with us ; 
thirteen in all sat down to table, Captain Ross in his 
customary place at the after end of the sofa, and I was 
in my own place at the foremost end, next the bulkhead. 
Our Christmas fare : pea-soup, followed by roast turkey 
and ham, and preserved meat-pie, parsnips, plum-pudding, 
and pumpkin-tart. I saw the " Southern Cross " again 
this evening. 

Friday^ 2']tJi. — Had some dolphin for breakfast, caught 
yesterday, and again at dinner, at Captain Ross's table, 
with whom I din(>d to-day. 

Tuesday y 2,'^st. — It being a lovely night, I walked the 
deck throughout the whole of the first watch ; saw the old 

■■ m 

New Vcar''s Day. 27 

year out and the new one in. Before I turned in I went 
below to the midshipmen's berth, and joined them in a 
glass of mulled wine. To-morrow, New Year's Day, all 
the officers have had an invitation to dine with Captain 

Wednesday, January \st, 1840. — New Year's Day 
commenced with the delightful weather of these regions, 
a clear blue sky, briglit sun, and fresh breezes. About 
1.30 p.m. sounded as usual to obtain the temperature of 
the sea at a great depth. All hands on deck stepping 
out to the fiddle, whilst the line was hauling in, in lat. 28° 
20' S., long. 19° 40'. The gun-room officers and mid- 
shipmen from the berth dined in the cabin with Captain 
Ross to-day ; thirteen in all sat down to table. 

Friday, '^rd. — Saw five or six dolphins swimming 
round the shi|), and one was caught ; two or three pilot- 
lish playing about the rudder. The ship was hove-to for 
deep soundings, and it was calculated that the bottom 
had been reached at 2400 fathoms, but the weight carrying 
away the line in hauling it in, most of it was lost. 

Friday, \oth. — A fine large flying-fish, weighing six- 
teen and a half ounces, and sixteen inches in length, fell 
on board during the morning watch, which I preserved 
in spirits. 

Sunday, 26th. — At midnight I saw the planet Jupiter 
rise soon after the moon, and just below it, and about 
half an hour later "Ursa Major" appeared above the 
horizon for the first time since leaving the Canary Islands, 
and at the same time the " Southern Cross " appeared 
at a considerable altitude in the opposite quarter of the 
heavens. The night was clear and beautiful, and before 
the moon rose, the "Milky Way" passing through the 
cross, and the constellation of the ship, formed a wave- 
like band across the zenith, with the two white " Clouds 
(if Magellan" remarkably distinct and bright. 

Friday, 31.V/. — The island of St. Helena in sight 


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P'oyagcs of Discovery. 

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ahead, almost enveloped in clouds, five or six leagues 
distant. Three bonito were caught with hook and line, 
and we had some for dinner ; white tern were flying 
overhead, and porpoises swimming beneath. Anchored 
at three p.m., having made the land at nine a.m. I 
recognized in the harbourmaster, who came on board, a 
former messmate, who had been master of H.M.S. Tyne^ 
in which ship I returned to England from Rio Janeiro. 
On first making the island, which presents a barren, arid, 
and scorched-up aspect, and nothing very striking in 
the mountain outlines, on the summits of which a few 
clumps of pines are scattered, studded here and there 
with a white house, and signal-stations on almost every 

Saturday, February \st. — I went on shore, and again 
on the following day called on Gulliver, the harbourmaster, 
andwith him attended morning service at the small church. 
Afterwards we mounted horses outside, and rode across 
the island to " Fairy-land," the country residence of 
a merchant of Jamestown, of the name of Gideon. 
Reached the house at three p.m., drenched in rain ; the 
weather was overcast and threatening when we started, 
and before we had got half-way heavy showers fell, the 
mountains were hidden in mist, and the scenery entirely 
obscured. The first part of our journey lay over Ladder 
Hill, past the barracks, then winding along hills and 
hollows. The small deep valleys formed good pasturage, 
and the few cattle we saw appeared to be good-sized 
animals. Pretty white-washed villas studded both hill 
and valley, surrounded by gardens and larch-plantations, 
chiefly the residences of retired officers of the St. Helena 
corps. Hedgerows of blackberries, on which the fruit 
was just ripening, flanked the lanes, with geraniums and 
other flowers in bloom. I saw some flocks of finches. 

As we approached " Fairy-land " the road terminated 
abruptly in a grassy knoll, and passing through a gate 


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At St. Helena. 


by a winding path, through a plantation for a short dis- 
tance, the pretty white villa, with its little gate and lawn 
in front, burst upon our view. Our host, little expecting 
visitors in such weather, had only just awakened from 
his siesta, but received us kindly at the door ; and after 
exchanging our wet clothes for dry ones, we were ushered 
into the drawing-room, and introduced to Mrs. Gideon 
and two young ladies on a visit there from Jamestown ; 
and on the two daughters of the house joining us, dinner 
was announced, and after three hours had very s'^ciably 
passed, we took leave of our hospitable host and his 

Monday, ^rd. — I dined at the mess of the 91st Regi- 
ment and artillery. The Antartic Expedition called forth 
a speech from Colonel Trelawney, which was briefly 
acknowledged by Captain Ross. My old messmate, Gul- 
liver, the harbourmaster, and his friend, Mr. Gideon, of 
" Fairy-land," were both there. About midnight, on 
reaching the landing-place, we could not succeed in get- 
ting a boat to take us on board, and had to sleep on 
chairs at " Lawler's Hotel," nearly devoured by mos- 

Tuesday, \th. — At nine a.m. I started on horseback 
from the mess-rooms in James Street, in company with 
our two artillery officers, on an excursion to Longwood. 
About a mile from Jamestown we passed the "Briars" 
on the right, once the temporary residence of Napoleon. 
At 9.30 a.m. we reached Captain Alexander's quarters, 
an engineer officer, where we breakfasted, after which he 
accompanied us to Longwood, passing in sight of the 
tomb of Napoleon, at the bottom of a valley on our left. 
About noon we entered the grounds of Longwood, 
situated 1730 feet above the level of the sea. A pasture, 
flanked by some straggling gum-trees, leads to Long- 
wood " old house," and the new house, which we first 
visited, is about 100 yards beyond, and to the left. It is 



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, hI 


Voyages of Discovery. 

a neat and somewhat handsome structure, long and low; 
most of the apartments are on the ground-floor, the 
drawing-room, a spacious room, with the walls of the 
" Imperial green." In front is a balcony, with a variety of 
shrubs and flowers growing in great luxuriance beneath, 
amongst which the passion-flower was most conspicuous. 
Bounding the extensive prospect is Flagstaff Hill, the 
barn, and on an eminence across the valley stands Dead 
Wood. On either side of these hills the deep blue 
ocean appears. The day was fine, with bright sunshine, 
and the whole scene wore an air of peaceful retirement, 
partaking both of English and tropical scenery. 

We next visited the old house ; the main entrance is 
beneath a green verandah, in a sort of gable. The first 
room, which was Napoleon's billiard-room, is now filled 
with bearded wheat. This apartment opens into the 
bedroom, under the^, second window of which the great 
Napoleon's head rested when he drew his last breath on 
earth. The next two rooms were his sitting and break- 
fast rooms, both dark and gloomy, having little light 
beyond what the doors admitted — one was entirely 
destitute of a window. A threshing-machine now 
occupied one of these apartments. In the corner of the 
small adjoining courtyard is a willow, said to have been 
planted by the Imperial captive's own hand from a twig 
he himself brought from the v^iUey where his tomb is 
now situated. • 

At one p.m. we remounted our horses to ascend 
Diana's Peak, the highest part of the island, 2697 feet to 
its summit, which we reached on foot, having secured 
our horses by their bridles to some shrubs in the valley 
beneath. Several beautiful tree-ferns grew along the 
valley ridge, over Halley's Mount, Cuckold's Point, &c., 
as we proceeded along a narrow pathway, flanked on 
either side by shrubs and dense underwocd to the top, 
which we stood upon at 2.30 p.m., but a cap of mist 

i U" 



Napoleon'' s Tomb. 31 

sadly obscured our view. At three p.m., remounting our 
steeds, we returned to Jamestown by the sandy bay road, 
and down Ladder Hill, getting on board at five p.m. 

Thursday, 6lh. — Having sent a large case of speci- 
mens of natural history, my first instalment for the 
Admiralty, on board the Sa7ntiel Eii(k'rby ior \ini;^\c\nA, 
I landed on an excursion to Napoleon's tomb, which we 
reached at five p.m., amid bright sunshine. I had a 
most refreshing draught of sparkling clear water from the 
well at which the mighty Napoleon used to drink. I 
took a sketch of the tomb, over which some of my 
feathered friends and favourite birds, the ducks, were 
irreveiently waddling, after which we repaired to Mrs. 
Torbutt's cottage, just below it, and had some refresh- 
ment, inserting our names at the same time in the 
visitors' book. At 6.40 p.m. we commenced our return, 
but it was dark before we reached Jamestown and got 
on board. 

Napoleon's grave is covered by three large plain slabs, 
enclosed within iron palisades. At its head a small 
geranium was growing. A group of seven willows 
Hanks the northern side, with a larger tree on the south 
side. The whole of the interior greensward enclosure, 
surrounded by a wooden fence, perhaps a hundred feet in 
circumference, is filled with cypress and fir-trees, alter- 
nating with each other. About fifty yards above this is 
the old sergeant's cottage who has charge of the keys to 
the enclosure, and he at once admitted us, although we 
had come without an order from the town-major, which 
is usually necessary for admission. After taking a sketch 
and gathering some sprigs of the willows, we drove 
off again, and got on board at eleven p.m. The general 
aspect of Longwood and its environs, the valley of the 
tomb, far exceeded my expectations from previous 
descriptions. An extensive command of prospect around, 
presenting a pleasing, rural, peaceful appearance, which, 



^ ijii 



I m 




Voyaj^cs 0/ Discovery. 

on a fine sunny clay, with the birds singini^, as was the 
case when I saw it, with the bold ruj^^j^ed hills of the 
Flagstaff and the Barn, and glimpses of the sea between, 
altogether forms a fine background to the picture. But 
from every bearing the three plain slabs, beneath which 
repose the remains of, perhaps, the greatest man the 
world ever saw, girt round with their bristling palisades, 
these again enclosed by a green sward, encircled by 
cypress and fir-trees, and the group of weeping willows 
overhanging the tomb itself in the sequestered nook 
forming the extremity of the valley, produced on my 
mind, at the first glance, the most striking and impres- 
sive effect of any scene my eye ever before rested upon, 
so marked a feature does it present in this romantic 

Friday, "jth. — At 3.15 p.m. I went on shore with the 
purser, and the first thing I did on landing was to ascend 
Ladder Hill, to test the shortest time in which it could be 
done, or, at least, that I could myself accomplish it in. 
The ascent is at a somewhat steep angle ; the number 
of steps amounted to 6^,6, each a foot apart, and of 
wood — one had been carried away. There were six 
seats or benches at the sides, placed at intervals, as 
resting-places. I reached the top in nine minutes, with- 
out resting once on the way, and I think it could be done 
in a shorter space of time if one were prepared before- 
hand with a light dress for the occasion, hut I made the 
attempt on the spur of the moment in my ordinary dress 
— uniform frock-coat with epaulettes, &c., and the sun 
bearing a great power at the same time. I was only four 
minutes in descending very leisurely. The height of the 
hill is estimated at 600 feet. 

At the summit I met Wilmot, our artillery officer, and 
an oflicer of the Ladder Hill station, with whom I 
remained about eight minutes in conversation before I 
descended. The purser, who remained at the bottom of 

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Fain' Landy 


the ladder, timed my ascent and descent by his watch. 
At 4.15 p.m. the purser and myself started for the tomb 
in Mr. Gideon's chaise. The distance is little more than 
three miles, but the road uphill and steep. When within 
a quarter of a mile, a road branches of? to the left down 
the deep valley, at the narrow upper end of which the 
remains of Napoleon rest. Longwood appears cresting 
the ridge on the opposite side of the valley. 

Saturday, %th. — I left the ship at eleven a.m., and 

called on board the Aracline, now a merchant barque, 

bound for England, once a corvette of eighteen guns, in 

which, in the year 1830, I returned from New Providence 

to England. On landing with the assistant-surgeon, Dr. 

Hooker (now Sir Joseph), we started from Jamestown, 

with fine weather, on our last excursion across the island, 

to take leave of our kind friends at " Fairy-land." We 

went by the Longwood road, passing the " Briars," a 

pretty modern-looking villa, having a green balcony, 

enclosed in lawn and shrubs, once the residence of the 

Balcombes, when Napoleon was an inmate. Ascending 

a hill, turning a sharp angle of the road overlooking the 

valley of the tomb, I took a sketch of the tomb, this being 

undoubtedly by far the best point of view to be had 

of it. At one p.m. we continued our course along the 

rocky ridge to Diana's Peak, and along a narrow lane 

covered with long grass to the main road. This road 

skirted a v.illey in which a number of wild raspberries 

,, very tempting indeed as far as appearance 

; a bright scarlet colour, and more like the 

Oen han the English raspberry in shape, but the 

ta peculiarly insipid and mawkish. Growing on a low, 

spreading bush, at a short distance they present the 

. |ipearance of small damask rose-buds that have not 

unfolded, as they pt llirough the green foliage. 

We called at " 1 -e Cottage," the residence of the 
. chief justice. Or, e outskirts of " Fairy-land" I shot 

vol.. I. I) 






Voyages of Discovery. 

i iifi 


A canary in its native green plumage, which, with the 
" aberdevate," a pretty Httle finch I afterwards shot a 
specimen of from a flock flying overhead, constitute the 
main portion of the ornithology of the island, so sparsely 
are the feathered race distributed. Here I lost my 
powder-flask, and whilst retracing my steps in search of 
it, found a small tortoise instead, rather a remarkable 
occurrence, I was told, as the animal is not indigenous to 
the island. I took it on board with me. Reached the 
Gideons' at 4.20 p.m. Found the young ladies at their 
embroidery-work ; they accompanied us to the Flag- 
staff and summer-house, at the extremity of a narrow 
wooded embankment, overhanging a deep valley, from 
which the singular cone-:haped basaltic rock called 
" Lot " arises, a bold and conspicuous object in the 
scene spread out before us, which is here of the most 
picturesque and beautiful description. To the right 
appears another remarkable peak, called " Lot's Wife," 
with the "Asses' Ears." Whilst at the distance of some 
two miles or so, the blue ocean peeps through an opening 
in the hills, where the surf breaks on the rocks bounding 
Sandy Bay. " Lot" is a rock 1444 feet above the level 
of the sea. 

At 8.15 p.m. we started on our return, with six or seven 
miles before us, on a dark night with drizzling rain, and 
along a road we had only been once before. The 
greatest bane to the island is its extreme humidity, 
the mountains being for the most part of the year 
enveloped in either mist or rain. The island is of sub- 
marine formation. 


\ •' 





Clcft-sunimit of Table Mountain. {Sec pdi^e 42 ) 


!; ( 



A deep sounding— Africa sighted— In Simon's Bay — Excursion to Cape 
Town — I'armer I'cck — His ([ueor hostelry — A Dutch wine-grower 
and his wines — Ascent of Table Mountain — Marion's Island- 
Possession Island. 

Sunday, giJi. — Wo j[^nt under wei^h, bad(? adieu to St. 
Helena for a time, and st(X)d along the land with a fine 
breeze, the weather fine and clear, and as I was about 
descending below to dinner, at three p.m., I saw the last 
of the land, a distant view of Sandy Bay. 

Saturday, 22nd. — A number of small sepia fell on 
board, and I picked up one alive on the starboard-booms. 
It pulsated strongly in my hand, and on putting it into 
;'. tumbler of sea-water it emptied its ink-hag of dark 

IJ 2 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

fluid and expired. Between twenty and thirty others 
were picked up. I saw two sheerwaters. 

Saturday, March ist. — A fine large albatross made 
several sweeps round the wake of the ship, and eventually 
alighted in the water at some distance astern ; a sheer- 
water or two have been following the ship for the last 
day or two, and this evening the wake of the ship was 
rendered brilliantly luminous by the pyrosoma. 

Tuesday, "^rd. — The ship was hove-to to sound the 
depth of the ocean ; two boats were lowered with reel 
and line, and the two captains left the ship in her. A 
weight of 540 lbs. was attached to a spun-yarn line of 
5000 fathoms, which reached bottom at a depth of 2677 
fathoms. This was by far the greatest depth we had 
yet obtained. The latitude was 33° 20' 42" S., longitude 
9° 3' E., 470 miles from the Cape of Good Hope. The 
line not being able to raise the weight from such a depth 
had to be cut, consequently the whole of the submerged 
portion was lost. 

Monday, gth, eight a.m. — Upon going on deck I had 
my first sight of the African coast appearing low-lying 
on the starboard-bow, standing in towards St. Helena 

On the 13th, Friday, at 5.40 a.m., I saw Table Moun- 
tain on the port-bow, and soon afterwards the ships in 
Table Bay. The horizontal stratification of the white 
silicious sandstone forming the summit of the hills above 
their granite base, is seen to great advantage from the 
sea. Albatrosses and petrels were numerous ; fish of 
four kinds were caught forwards as fast as the lines 
could be baited. 

Tuesday, March \']th, eleven a.m. — We came to an 
anchor half a mile from shore in Simon's Bay. Found 
the Terror already there, and the Melville flagship. 

Thursday, igth. — I went on shore, and walked round 
the west point to the cemetery, nearly a mile from the 

*• \ 

Farmer Peck. 


town, proceeding along the base of Simon's Bay. Only 
saw a few sugar-birds, much resembling both in size and 
colouring of plumage the humming-birds of the West 
Indies ; in fact, a representative of that bird in the Old 
World, it having similar habits. I returned along the 
beach, where I met with a similar incrustation bed to the 
Porto Lorenco one at Madeira. It occupied some acre 
or two of sand, separated from the sea by a sand-dune, 
only studded with encrusted stems. The charred nucleus 
of wood here has evidently been the stem of a seaside 
plant now growing in great numbers on the spot. The 
univalve shells scattered about resemble the Lorenco 
ones, apparently {Helt'x Raniondt) lake shell, belonging 
to the Miocene period. 

Friday, 20th. — Landed on a shooting excursion ; only 
met with a few small birds, sugar-birds, and honey- 
eaters. The sandy plain is scattered over with an 
abundant heath-growth and numerous proteaceae. 

Monday, 2^rd. — Started for Cape Town. After cross- 
ing several sandy bays we passed some fences of whale- 
bone, the " Whalebone Inn," and through a turnpike- 
gate. When at seven miles from Simon's Town, the 
well-known eccentric Farmer Peck's white gable appeared" "' 
on the right, with his name in large black letters painted 
on it. Here we alighted at 10.40 a.m., and after ordering 
breakfast, had our patience put to the test by having to 
wait for an hour before it was got ready. Farmer Peck 
appears to be quite aware of his being a privileged 
character, and, with a certain amount of independence 
about him, does not seem to care very much about 
putting himself out of the way about anybody. He is a 
small, spare man, about fifty years of age, with more the 
appearance of a sallow-complexioned citizen than a 
farmer. Whilst breakfast was preparing I took a survey 
of the premises, which consisted of a low range of 
thatched buildings on the ground-floor, and most unlike 



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Voyages of Discovery. 

all our notions of a farm, located in a barren, sandy tract, 
with not a tree or shrub to enliven it. Bounded on one 
side by False Bay, it has between it and the sea a long 
strip of level beach, from which it is separated by only a 
few yards of sand-dunes. The opposite side of the road 
has a background of arid hills, rising to a considerable 
elevation. An apology for a garden is attached to one 
end of the premises, an enclosure fenced in with cane, in 
which a few stunted fig-trees were struggling for exis- 
tence, with the pretty linle sugar- birds flitting like 
rainbow-coloured gems amongst them, whales' ribs form- 
ing the road fence. A number of gulls were walking 
on the sands of the shore. In front of the door next to 
the main road, a signboard swings between two rough 
posts suspended from a cross-beam, having on it the 


The following lines are inscribed on either side of the 
lower board : — 

On the left side. 

" ' Multum in parvo ! pro bono publico.' 

Entertainment for man or beast, all of a row. 
Lekker Kost, as much as you please ; 
Excellent beds, without any fleas." 

O71 the right side. 

" Nos patrium fugimus, now we are here, 
Vivamus, let us live by selling beer. 
On donne h. boire, et "k manger ici, 
Come in and try it, Avhoever you li ■ " 

The small room in which \\c breakfasted had white- 
washed walls, and no other ceiling than the bare timbers 
of the roof overhead. The furniture consisted of four 
deal tables, ten dark-coloured chairs, an old cane-backed 
sofa, with a sanded floor. The young girl, whilst preparing 

Dutch Vineyards. 


the breakfast-table, handed me three curious caricatures, 
painted in oil on small square pieces of wood, the work 
of some previous visitor. One represented a grotesque 
figure, in cocked-hat and red coat, with " Sir Roger de 
Peck, of Bushell Hall, 1649," written on it. We had a 
chicken killed and grilled for breakfast, with a limited 
number of fried eggs and .ham, and some very fair coffee, 
for which the charge was 3^. each. 

Our road now took an inland direction, passing round 
the base of hills and away from the sea ; and after pro- 
ceeding for some distance across a sandy plain, we 
eventually arrived at " Little Constantia," one of the 
celebrated wine-farms or vineyards, amid a shady avenue 
of lofty trees, fine oaks. This was C. Coligne's, which 
we had intended visiting, but finding three carriages-and- 
fours standing at the entrance to the avenue, we concluded 
that the time of the people at the vineyard would be fully 
occupied by these visitors ; so at 2.30 p.m. turned down 
the magnificent avenue of ancient oaks, whose tops inter- 
laced overhead, forming quite an arboreal arcade. A 
short drive brought us to the " Great Constantia," where, 
entering by a wide gateway, we drove through an 'avenue of 
large trees up to a substantial, handsome-looking house, 
and were at once ushered into a large and well-furnished 
apartment, at the entrance to which stood a fine stuffed 
leopard, which had been shot by the owner on the side 
of Table Mountain about four years before. We were 
taken to the wine-house, and told that the proprietor 
would soon be with us, and we filled up the interval in 
rambling round a large orchard on the left side of the 
building, planted with pear, apple, medlar, and other fruit- 
trees. In a small vinery the grapes had already been 
gathered. On our return to the wine-house, we found 
Mr. Cloete, the owner of the establishment — a fine 
specimen of the old Dutch gentleman — awaiting us. 
He first showed us the wines fermenting in the vats, and 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


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explained to us the whole process, at the same time hand- 
ing us a glass of each to taste. First, the " Red 
Constantia," made from the red muscatel grape ; next, the 
"White Constantia," from the green kind," sold at 15/. 
the " half-aam," of nineteen gallons ; third, the " Fron- 
tignac," 18/. 155. the " half-aam ;" fourth, the " Pontac," 
a sweet, dark red wine, and the highest in price, being 
22/. the " half-aam ;" the fifth and last sort was the com- 
monest, sold at only 7/. 7^. the " half-aam," and called 
" Steen " — the "White Constantia" being considered 
the finest-flavoured of all. The grapes are used when 
half the bunch is converted into raisins, and fermentation 
is checked from proceeding too rapidly by burning a stick 
of sulphur in the cask before adding the grapes. The 
wines are kept for four years in warehouse before they are 
fit for the market. 

We next accompanied the owner to the oldest vineyard, 
a field of fifteen acres, to the right of the house. The 
vines were planted in rows four feet apart, each plant 
being from two to three feet in height, with from four to 
five short, thick stems, each bush bearing on an average 
twelve bunches of grapes, by no means of large size. 
Some were red and others green, a few of the plants 
having fruit not larger than the common currant. The 
peculiar-flavoured, small, dark grape, which is employed 
with the red muscatel in the making of the " Pontac," 
affords scarcely any juice, and is used only to give flavour 
and colour ; the productiveness of this grape being so 
small renders the " Pontac " so expensive a wine. This 
estate is the oldest of all, dating its origin as far back as 
150 years, and was named "Constantia" after the 
daughter of the Dutch governor. Van der Stall, who first 
founded it. 

Mr. Cloete also told us that the estate had been in his 
own family for a generation or two, and that the vineyard 
of fif een acres, which he had just shown us, was fifty 

Ascerii of Table Mountain. 


years old. The whole of the vinery occupies thirty-seven 
acres, producing from thirty to forty pipes a year, at an 
average price of 90/. a pipe. Having passed about an 
hour at the estate very agreeably, and not unprofitably, 
we resumed our journey. At the end of the lane we 
passed by the third establishment on the left, having the 
words " High Constantia" written over the gateway. 
It belongs to S. V. Van Renen. From this to Wynberg 
the road is good, and passes through this very pretty 
village to Cape Town, seven miles distant. The late 
governor was Sir Benjamin D'Urban, whose daughter 
and sons had long years gone by been at the same 
dancing-school with myself at Yarmouth, in Norfolk. 
General D'Urban, who was with the Duke of Wellington in 
the Peninsular War, (my own father at the time serving 
with the Baltic fleet,) was now living in Wynberg, where 
also resides the admiral on the station. It is a charming 
spot, having a cheerful English aspect ; carriages and 
horses were passing to and fro, and omnibuses running 
daily. Villas are scattered about amongst the trees, 
and a pretty-looking church appears at a distance on 
the left. 

The approach to Cape Town is very pleasing, command- 
ing an extensive view over the plain, studded here and 
there with windmills and numerous white houses. Table 
Mountain rises on the left, and the town, with the bay full 
of shipping, spreads out in front. We passed several 
waggons on the road, each having from fourteen to six- 
teen large black oxen yoked to them, their horns curved 
upwards, little short of a fathom in extent. 

Thursday, 26th. — Arose at four a.m., and, accompanied 
by the surgeon of the Terror, shaped as direct a course 
as possible for the base of the mountain, which is 3550 
feet high. It was 6.15 a.m. when we commenced the 
ascent from the Millhouse, by a watercourse. After 
quitting this we had kept too much to the left, bringing 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

I I 

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US to the edge of a ravine with a clump of trees. Here 
I parted from my companion, who continued his course 
along the ravine, but I determined on a less circuitous 
course, and at once struck up a steep ridge to the right, 
studded with rock fragments and the burnt stumps of 
trees ; and, after some little labour and exertion, I gained 
the usual rugged, zigzag path of the ascent, at the base 
of a steep wall of rock, where the very narrow cleft 
opening at the summit first comes in view. As I ap- 
proached this, the ascent became steeper and steeper, the 
fragments of rock, in larger masses, piled in inconceivable 
confusion. I only saw a small bird or two in the ascent. 
At 7.30 a.m. I stood on the summit, having passed 
through a narrow gorge or cleft, about a fathom wide, in 
the perpendicular wall of rock, rising on either side to 
the height of some sixty feet. I had been at the least 
ten minutes on the top when my companion rejoined 
me ; he having had to cross a ravine in his more cir- 
cuitous route. We were, however, rewarded by a most 
magnificent prospect. The vast plain on the summit is 
three or four miles in circumference, and spread out 
beneath lies Cape Town, with its quadrangular masses 
of buildings and gardens ; beyond this the bay, with 
some twenty or more sail of vessels. We walked all 
round the summit, and had a fine view of B'alse Bay to 
the southward, bounded on one side by Hang-lip Point, 
and on the other by the hills of Simon's Bay. We 
searched for a spring of water to wash down our slice 
of cold meat and bread we had brought up with us for 
breakfast, and found a very small pool beneath a large 
mass of rock, just deep enough to fill a small basin from, 
being only a few inches in circumference. Two small 
finches, the only ones we saw, with a frog, were drinking 
at the tiny spring, a sinister hawk hovering in the 
distance. But none of the baboons, leopards, and rock- 
rabbits, so much talked of, were seen by us. The surface 



Cape Toivn. 




yr to 






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of this plain is covered with tufts of large rushes, heaths, 
and grasses ; in some spots the soil appears rich with 
flowering plants ; in others, peat, elastic under the feet, 
water-worn pebbles of beautiful white quaitz, form patches 
of shingle, looking as if they had only just been upheaved 
from the bed of the ocean. The sides are skirted in 
places by sandstone ridges, intermingled with the pebbles 
of quartz, and elevated above the plain. One large mass 
here appeared poised on another, like the I.ogan Rock 
of Cornwall. 

At noon we commenced our descent from the cleft at 
the top, following the path down to the ravine and Mill- 
house. Then continuing along the watercourse, in which 
a number of negresses, with here and there a mulatto, 
were up to their knees, washing clothes. We reached the 
town at two p.m., and after lunch, I left Cape Town at 
4.30 p.m. for Simon's Town, twenty-three miles distant. 
Returning in the chaise, called at the observatory, three 
miles from Cape Town, where I met Lieutenant Wilmot, 
our late messmate, whose quarters this will be for the 
next three years. Reached Farmer Peck's at dark, about 
7.30 p.m. Had a sandwich and glass of ale here, starting 
again at 8.30 p.m., when we had a very intricate and 
difficult navigation amongst the rocks and quicksands 
in crossing the bays, it being high water. Into one of 
these quicksands the wheels of the chaise sank to the 
axletrees, and getting wedged between the rocks, with 
surf breaking over all, the harness gave way, and the 
horse had to be taken out before we could extricate the 
wheels. Whilst setting my shoulder to them I lost a 
gift gold ring from my finger in the surf. We had to 
tow our crippled craft back to the " Clarence Inn " at 
Simon's Town as best we could, arriving about midnight ; 
so, being too late for a boat, we had to sleep at the inn, 
and returned on board at eight on the following morning 
in the whale-boat. 








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Voyages of Discovery. 

Wednesday, April \st, — Having had an invitation from 
the ward-room officers of the flagship Melville to dine 
with them to-day, Captains Ross and Crozier, with the 
second and third lieutenants of each ship, Lieutenant 
Wilmot, R.A., and myself sat down to dinner with the 
officers of the flagship, making in all a party of twenty- 


Friday, ^rd. — Myriads of shags or cormorants were 
flying about the bay to-day in phalanxes extending the 
whole length of the bay, all fishing, so much do these 
waters abound in fish. 

Monday, 6th. — We got under weigh in company with 
the Terror, and beat out under cheers from the flagship, 
which were returned by us. 

Tuesday, 2\st. — As we approached the Marion Islands, 
the weather became unsettled, the temperature much 
lower, with boisterous and thick, hazy weather at intervals. 
The sea here teems with oceanic birds : albatrosses, 
petrels. Cape hens, and stormy petrels. At 1.30 p.m. I 
saw Marion's Island, high conical hills rising from the 
centre, and from these long, low points run out to sea- 
ward, the whole having a volcanic appearance. A little 
further on, we opened a small cove literally enamelled 
with penguins; they were assembled here in thousands. 
The slopes of the hills and long, low points presented a 
verdant aspect. One hill looked as if clothed with a 
reddish-brown moss. It was blowing too hard, with too 
much surf on the beach for a boat to land, and at 4.30 p.m. 
the ship was laid-to for the night, which was cloudy and 

Wednesday, 22nd. — The weather still continuing 
unfavourable, with a falling barometer, prevented our 
landing, as intended, on Marion's Island, so we bore up 
for the Crozets, going before the wind, without seeing 
anything of Prince Edward's Island. 

Sunday, 26th. — Two of the Crozets were passed early 

Possession Island, 


in the morning watch, and unfortunately 1 missed seeing 
them — a rare occurrence with me — and we continued on 
our course for Possession Island. The weather for the 
last few days has been misty, thick, and stormy, with 
heavy gales. The ship under a close-reefed main-topsail, 
and storm-staysails, rolled much in the heavy swell, quick 
and deep, going before the wind. The air very keen and 
chilly. The petrels were numerous, especially the small 
blue one, and stormy petrel ; an albatross or two skimming 
in the wake of the ship, and the first speckled Cape 
pigeon seen. 

Friday, May \st. — Beating up for the anchorage in 
Possession Island, a beautiful, clear, sunny morning, after 
the thick, very unfavourable weather we have had for the 
last few days, with only occasional glimpses of the land, 
half-hidden in mists, and the summits of the hills 
sprinkled over with snow, as we beat up between the 
high land of Easter Island and Possession Island. 
Both islands have the appearance of volcanic origin. A 
remarkable detached rock of hexagonal form, with 
apparently a hole through it, stands isolated off the 
north-west end. At 10.30 a.m. we hove-to ofT America 
Bay, having observed a six-oared boat putting off from 
the shore in answer to the signal-gun we had fired. We 
brought out with us a chest of tea and some bags of 
coffee for a seal-fishing party, fourteen in number, who 
have been located on the island for about eighteen 
months. These things had been sent from the Cape by 
their employers, with a letter, the contents of which 
seemed to disappoint the leader of the party, a fine, 
intelligent, sailorlike-looking fellow, who evidently had 
been anticipating a ship for their removal, instead of 
fresh supplies for a prolonged stay on the island. 

Captain Ross having made up his mind not to send a 
boat on shore to these islands, we endeavoured to get 
all the information we could from these poor sailors, 

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/ 'oyages of Discovery. 


\ I 

whose sallow aspect was by no means diminished by their 
unshaven beards, dirty guernsey-frocks, and woollen caps, 
with stockin^less feet — except their manly-looking leader, 
who was an ideal " Robinson Crusoe " in costume, with 
his penguin-skin moccasins, and who answered all the 
questions Captain Ross put to him with promptitude and 
self-possession. FJe told us that a boat belonging to 
them had been lost with all her crew off Easter Island in 
the late gale, and on that island they had a party of eleven 
or twelve men. Another boat had been washed off the 
beach and lost. Their best fishing season, it appears, is 
during the months of July, August, and September. 
Whale-ships frequently visit the islands, the water being 
so abundant and easily obtained, that loo tons may be 
procured in a very short time. A large seal is found 
here, probably similar to the Kerguelen's Land one, pen- 
guins, and some goats. A small island to the westward 
(Hog Island) is overrun with pigs, about seventy miles 
distant. This bay he considers the best anchorage close 
to the rocks in shore. The land at the head of the bay 
forms a yellowish-green coloured valley of turf, flanked 
by sloping hills and undulating ridges of the same colour; 
a ledge of black rocks divides little America Bay from it 
on the south, the whole having a background of lofty, 
rugged mountains, having a dark-brown shade, and 
sprinkled with snow. Many of the points and headlands 
look like old castles or other ruins, so picturesquely arc; 
they broken up. At a mile distant, the nearest approach 
we made, the columnar basalt was very apparent, and a 
lighter-looking rock, probably greenstone. There are 
also two dykes and a watercourse. We learnt from the 
leader of the sealing-party that he had been about eight 
months in Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen's Land. Hav- 
ing had a glass of grog each, they got their supplies into 
their boat, and took their departure, and at eleven a.m. 
we bore up, making all sail for Kerguelen's Land, run 

^ ii" 

At Anchor in C/iristmai Harbour, 


ning between the two islands. I made sketches of both. 
Easter Island presents a singular and remarkable appear- 
ance, its dark mountain peaks, 3000 feet high, in strong 
relief against the sky, towered above a belt of white clouds. 

Thursday^ May ith. — At nine a.m. I first saw the high 
hills of Cape Fran^'ois to windward, with here and there 
a patch of snow on the summits, and a low-lying island 
on the lee-bow. The air was cold and pinching, the 
most severe we had hitherto felt, thermometer being 36°. 
The north-west wind blew in heavy squalls, weather hazy, 
with showers of sleet and snow, the blue sky only seen 
at intervals. It was during such weather as this that 
last evening we had a glimpse of the off-lying and 
remarkable rock called Bligh's Cap. Numbers of 
petrels and shags were flying about the ship. We were 
all day beating up for Christmas Harbour, making short 
tacks and little progress, so stood ol¥ the land for the 
night. •' Old Tom," a cock brought out from England 
with us, who, with a hen, was to have been left here to 
colonize the island, died to-day, in the very sight of his 
intended domain ; had his body committed to the deep 
by the captain's steward — a sailor's grave. 

Friday, %th. — Beating up all day for the land. At 
two p.m. saw the Arched Rock, at the entrance to 
Christmas Harbour. About four p.m. a barque was seen 
from the masthead, supposed to be our consort, the 
Terror, which we parted company with soon after leaving 
the Cape. Fired a gun, and soon after dark sent up a 
rocket as signals to her, and not being able to fetch the 
harbour, stood off again for the night. 

Monday, \ \th. — The last two days of blowing weather, 
with the ship rolling in a heavy sea, little progress was 
made; but on the morning of the 12th we found our- 
selves to windward, and well in with the land. 

Had to work up Christmas Harbour against a strong 
breeze, and from the narrowness of the entrance com- 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

pelled to make very short tacks, going about each time 
close in shore, and after all had to let the anchor go, in 
twenty-four fathoms, at 5.30 p.m., heavy squalls coming 
ofT the high land. Inside Arched Point we passed some 
fine cascades, and a remarkable white bird, about the 
size of a common pigeon and shape of the Ptarmigan, 
called the sheathbill {Chiouis vagiiinlis), which was 
numerous on the rocks, seeking its pelagic food as it 
leisurely walked along the ridges at the water's edge. 
Some penguins were swimming about the harbour, and 
black-backed gulls and tern flying overhead. At six p.m. 
Captain Ross dined with us in the gun-room. 

Thursday, 14;*// — The Terror anchored about a mile 
above us yesterlay at noon. A number of spermaceti 
whales were swimming about the bay to-day in groups of 
three or four together, spouting and going down with the 
tail uppermost. A pair of water-boots, with hose, were 
served out to the officers and ship's company, and I 
sketched the harbour all round. 

[iligli's Cap. {Sec p(J'^r 47.) 


k Wi 



Basalt, or Fossil Wood Mount. 


At Kerguelen's Island — My find of fossil-wood — Remarkable geologic .il 
features — First boat's expedition for exploring Cumberland Bay — 
Camping ashore — The Southern Cross — Exploration under diffi- 

Friday, i ^ih. — At noon the Erebus was warped up the 
harbour above the Terror, and at one p.m I landed in 
the galley with the two captains, for the first time on 
this, to me, most interesting island. This, and Spitz- 
bergen, in the opposite hemisphere, constitute, I think, 
the most striking and picturesque lands I have ever 
had the good fortune to visit in a somewhat wide range 
of wanderings over our globe from pole to pole. Yet 
neither the Arctic nor Antarctic isles have tree or shrub 
at the present time to enliven them. The largest arbo- 
rescent form in Spitzbergen is the vvillow {Salix arciica), 
crawling an inch or two above the surface of the ground ; 
whilst in Kerguelen's Island, the famous cabbage 
{Pringlea antiscorbuticd) peculiar to the island, attains 
but a foot or two elevation above the soil. 
vol,. I. J4 







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Voyo^s^es of Discovery 

And yet whole forests, in the form of fossilized wood, 
lie entombed here beneath vast lava streams ; in one 
instance, a trunk of a tree, seven feet in circumference, 
has been found buried beneath the d6hris of this truly 
volcanic land. That singular and beautiful bird, too, so 
fearless and confiding, the chionis, seems peculiar to 
the island, to which its presence gives a charm and 
animation, especially to a lover of the feathered race 
like myself. The observatory is now being put upon the 
beach at the top of the bay, in the north corner. I 
crossed the isthmus, about a mile and a half over from 
the top of the bay to the opposite side, passing two lakes, 
soil boggy and swampy, the coast steep and precipitous. 
Saw Bligh's Cap and two islands in the distance. The 
weather squally, with very heavy gusts of wind, accom- 
panied by drifting showers of sleet and hail, cutting to the 
face. 1 shot my first teal, with which the island abounds ; 
its favourite food, the seeds of the cabbage, now ripening. 
I also shot, near the first lake, two brown-coloured 
lestris and live penguins, from the beach. 

Saturday, \6tlu — I landed, accompanied by Dr. 
Hooker, on an excursion to the summit of the black 
basaltic rock, ascending from the ridge at the south 
corner of the beach along a boggy slope, down which 
fell a cascade. Here I shot my first chionis, and cross- 
ing over two ridges, forming a rugged platform, we 
followed the west side of the base of the basaltic rock, 
where I had the good fortune to discover the first trace 
of the fossil-wood, a few 5:mall pieces, so weather-worn 
that thi'y looked like the stem of a pipe from their 
blanched appearance. These small relics of an age gone 
by were loosely scattered on the surface, occupying a 
space of not more than a foot or two of ground. I called 
out to Hooker, who was within hailing distance of me 
at the tiin(% to announce this unexpected discovery, and 
laughingly observed that we should sooner have ex- 



> ( 

Kergiielcn'' s Land. 


pected to find on this spot the embers of a fire lighted 
by our enterprising countryman and predecessor here, 
the great navigator Captain Cook. On returning we 
found larger fragments, in situ, beneath the black 
rock, only a few feet above the talus of ddbris. Turn- 
ing the flank of the mountain on the left, we ascended 
by a pass between two rocks covered with ice and 
snow to the summit, which we reached at 1.30 p.m., 
passing by a trap-dyke, ten feet high, and embossed 
with a beautiful lichen, tinted pale green and black, 
intersecting the top in a S.K. and N.W. direction; 
continuing our course along the summit, which was 
strewed over with rock fragments, patches of snow, and 
lichens. About a quarter of a mile brought us to the 
opposite side, E.S.E., but the weather becoming so 
tiiick and foggy, with small rain — a regular Scotch 
mist — drifting in our faces, with the strong breeze blow- 
ing without intermission, obscured all surrounding objects 
even only a few yards off, and as the air was so keen and 
cutting, we commenced o'lr return at two p.m., reached 
the observatory at fou., and got on board in the dingy, 
drenched to the sl..n, at six p.m., and ready for our 
dinner. The vast and remarkable block of basalt 
rises to 1000 feet above the harbour, resting on a 
greenstone ridge, 600 feet in thickness, from which it 
is separated by a thin bed of shale six feet, nearly 

Monday, \8t/t. — At ten a.m. I landed on the south 
side of th(; bay in the dingy, and returned on board in 
her at three p.m., bringing with me two young sooty- 
albatrosses from their nest. 

Tuesday, \gth. — At ten a.m. I landed on the north sid(; 
of the bay, and ascended the crater-shaped hill, 1200 
feet above the bay ; at noon reached the summit, which 
is cone-shaped, having a shallow lake, covered with ice 
at the time, about thirty yards across from north to 

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Voyas^cs of Discovery. 

south, contracting in the centre to six yards, and occupy- 
ing the depression on the summit, around which piles of 
fragmentary and prismatic basalt rise on the east and 
west sides to about fifty feet, sloping towards the north 
and south, where gaps are left. Perfect basaltic columns, 
some of them ten and twelve feet between the joints, are 
inclined round the acclivity of the cone, and intermingled 
with piles of broken fragments, exhibiting the same 
prismatic structure, being generally in five or six-angled 
prisms. At a deep gorge, six feet wide, on the north 
side, these columns are most beautifully arranged in a 
quaquaversal dip, the lake filling the oval depression. 
The ice formed five-sided prisms on the surface, like the 
rocks around it, and bore my weight, though the tem- 
perature was 42°, and the sun shining. On breaking 
the ice, and then sounding with the ramrod of my gun, 
I found the bottom muddy, but the water was excellent. 
The same kind of elegant lichen found on the black or 
fossil-wood rock on the opposite side of the harbour exists 
here. F*-om the south side of the summit I had a fine 
view of Point Pringle, Cape Cumberland, and the "Sentry- 
box," with the intervening bays, and immediately beneath 
me the two ships in Christmas Harbour. My ascent 
was from the east side, and I descended by the north 
along a steep gorge, only six feet in width, formed by 
ct)lumnar greenstone in hexagonal and five-sided pillars, 
some twelve feet between the joints, beautifully fitted to 
each oth(T. On reaching the ridge below, and pro- 
ceeding in the direction of Cape Francois, I shot a chionis 
and a brace of teal. Saw P>ligh's Cap and other islands 
in the offing. At three p.m. I had to climb over a steep, 
almost inaccessible wall of columnar greenstone, before 
I could gain the summit of Cape Fran(;ois, dividing me 
from Christmas Harbour. The horizon to windward 
wore a very threatening aspect, and I had to hasten my 
steps to avoid being benighted in the new course I had 

Cape Frani^ois. 


; (■ 



adopted for my return, along ground I was wholly un- 
acquainted with. From the top of Cape Francois I had 
a fine view of the Arched Rock, and the ships in the 
harbour. Reached the landing-place at four p.m., and 
got on board at 5.30. 

Friday, 22nd. — This mornmg I volunteered to Captain 
Ross to accompany an exploring party in one of t!ie 
Terror's cutters up Cumberland Bay, to the weather side 
of the island. Landed at noon. Found some very fine 
specimens of the fossil-wood, and a bed of shale under- 
lying the black or fossil-wood rock. Here I found two 
young petrel in their nests ; shot two and a half brace 
of teal and a tern, and returned on board at five p.m. 

Saturday, 2yrd. — At ten a.m. I landed at the south 
corner of the beach, and ascended the ridge of greenstone 
on which the black mass of basalt rests, passing two 
lakes, one 100 yards in length and sixty in width, on my 
way to Arched Point, descending from the ridge of rocks 
to a level plain of shingle and alluvium, bearing evidences 
of having been recently covered with water. Another 
hour's walk brought me to Arched Point, which I reached 
at one p.m., crossing a saddle-like depression by v.hich 
the ridge is united to the mainland, next proceeding over 
a columnar wall of greenstone, beyond which the ridge 
becomes level to the point, only strewed with a fragment 
or two of rock. Immediately beneath me the Arched 
I^ock itself appeared, connected with the point by a low, 
narrow neck. Returned on board at five p.m. The day 
had been squally, with light showers of snow, covering the 
ground, and the drift in some of the hollows between the 
inlls was tvvo or three feet in depth. At intervals, through 
breaks in the clouds, the sun shone. I shot a gigantic 
petrel, and at Arched Point a young black-backed gull 
Hying overhead, where Foul Bay runs deeply in, its star- 
board side extending out in a long, low spit. 

Sunday, 24///. — At one p.m. a royal salute was fired 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

from both ships in honour of her Majesty's birthday, and 
divine service performed. Captain Crozier and the gun- 
room officers of both ships dined with Captain Ross in 
his cabin. Thirteen sat down to table. We had excel- 
lent roast goose for dinner, a very agreeable change from 
the penguin diet of late. Captain Ross said, at the 
table, that Phillips, the second lieutenant of the Terror^ 
and myself, with three men from each ship, were to form 
the exploring party to the north-west coast. 

Monday, 2^th. — Took one of our crew up with me to 
Fossil-wood Hill, to assist me in disinterring with the 
pickaxe the large fossil-tree I had discovered buried in 
the ddbris there, and I brought on board the young 

Tuesday, 26th. — After skinning some birds, I landed 
at 1.30 p.m., and asked Captain Ross for two hands to 
go with me up the hill to dislodge the large tree, when, 
having done so, it proved too heavy, silicified as it was, 
for the strength of the two men to bring down the pre- 
cipitous ridge, consequently we returned with a smaller 
one, and some loose specimens. 

Saturday, n,oth.- \fter three stormy days I went on 
shore about lu on, shot a black-backed gull from the 
dingy, and a shag at the landing-place. Called on 
Captain Ross at the observatory, and made an excursion 
along the soiLth side of the harbour to the w iterfall, 
round the point. Shot tw^ chionis, two gigantic petrel, 
two shags, and a teal, flying round the point. 

Monday, June 1st. — Phillips came on board, and told 
me that we were to start on our exploring expedition to- 
morrow, when, Captains Ross and Crozier coming on 
board, I returned on shore with them. The latter offert d 
to accompany me in my asceni of the Black Rock, to see 
the tree before I removed it, Captain Ross having given 
me his own gig's crew of five hands for the purpose. 
When we had arrived near the spot, there was an 


Discovery of a Fossil Tree. 


extremely narrow ledj^c on the perpendicular face of a 
rock, barely wide enough for the feet, or rather the toes, 
to cling to. Captain Crozier, being a somewhat heavy 
man, seemed rather nervous about venturing across, but, 
following in my footsteps, who had been so often over it 
in my previous visit to the fossil-tree and the ddbris, gave 
him confidence, and tided him over. 

Tuesday, jfiuie 2nd. — I left the ship with two seamen, 
Fawcett and Marshall, and Barker, a marine, to join my 
colleague, Lieutenant Phillips, of the Terror ; and after 
breakfasting in the gun-room of that ship, we all started 
together in the cutter at 6.30 a.m., my companion having 
with him also three able seamen from his own ship. The 
morning was fine and clear, the stars shining brightly, with 
a light breeze. At seven a.m. we passed the Arched 
Rock and a flo^k of the little petrel ; these birds, though 
belonging to so different a family, bear the most striking 
resemblance to the little auk {Alca alle) of the opposite 
Polar regions, both in size, form, colour, mode of flight, 
and general habits. The main distinction is the tubular 
nostrils on the upper mandible, which characterize the 
whole petrel tribe. Several, also, of the gigantic petrel 
[Procellaria gigaiitca) were sailing about and skimming 
the surface of the sea. Having passed the openings to 
the two large bays between Arched Point and Cape 
Cumberland, both having a background of high land, we 
lay on our oars to take some compass bearings of the head- 
land, within a cable's length of the shore, a low and rugged 
black ledge of rocks, the sea breaking on them, and full of 
chionis and shags. At 8.30 again out oars, and pulled 
to Cape Cumberland. An isolated rock, named the 
" Sentry-box," from its form as well as position, fronts the 
opening to the bay, which at 840 a.m. we made sail up, 
the change in our course making the wind favourable. 
After passing some drifting thin ice, we noticed what 
appeared to be inlets on either side of the bay. At 



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11^ 1 





yoyai^es of Discovery. 


1 1.30 a.m. landed on a green bank on the port side, and 
whilst my colleague was getting a meridian altitude of 
the sun, I crossed over a ridge of rocks to examine the 
extent of the inlet higher up, which I soon found formed 
a snug bay, considerably more than a mile in depth, and 
about as much in breadth, the entrance being about one- 
third of a mile, bounded on either side by a ridge of hills, 
700 to 800 feet high, forming terraces of columnar green- 
stone, with embedded crystals of quartz, forming large, 
drusy cavities. 1 picked up some beautiful crystals, 
scattered about the rocks. 

After taking a hasty outline of the bay, with a set of 
compass bearings, from the spot where I stood on the 
eastern side, I returned to the boat, and at p.m. 
we shoved off, and when outside I took another sketch of 
the entrance to it. Its distance is six and a half miles 
from the " Sentry-box." At two p.m. we hauled the boat 
alongside a ridge of rocks, separated from the main shore 
by a narrow channel. Here I shot a brace of teal ; and 
we had our dinner, starting again at 2.45 p.m., passing 
through much seaweed and small stream ice, very thin. 
Noticed some two or three small recesses in the coast-line 
on the south side of the bay. We were accompanied 
by numerous shags hovering over the boat as we pulled 
up the bay, so much was their curiosity excited by our 
intrusion on their usual solitude that we expected every 
minute to see them alight in the boat, as with outspread 
wings and drooping feet, with their long necks twisted 
round, they looked down upon us with prying gaze, so 
near that the boat's crew knocked down several with their 
oars for soup. At five p.m. we hauled the boat up on 
a sandy beach at the top of the bay, which we found to 
be twelve and a half miles in depth, with an average 
breadth of about two miles. Having secured the boat 
above high-water mark, and made all snug for the night, 
at seven p.m. we had a hot supper of teal, and the 




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1 1 

Explori)ig Cumberland Bay. 


white bird, chionis, followt-d by a cup of tea at nine, and 
tlun turned into our blanket-bags, amid tht; distant 
rearing of the sea outside the isthmus, indicating our 
close proximity to the opposite coast, the main object 
of our expedition. 

I''iir o'er our heads the cross appears on Iiigh, 
On waves of ether borne in the blue sky ; 
Magellan's clouds, and the black coal-sack near, 
'I'hat wondrous void, in which no stars appear. 

Magellan's great cloud like a casket seems, 
As witli the brightest gems it teems ; 
And colour'd suns, of every size and hue. 
Only the telescope brings into view. 

Here, as the " Southern Cross " appears to us in the 
zenith, the four stars of which it is composed have a 
position nearly parallel with the horizon, the smallest star 
being uppermost, and to the right the largest, a star of 
the first magnitude beneath it, the two others of the 
second magnitude forming the left side of the " Cross." 
This constellation, indeed, itself constitutes the " Pole 
Star" of the southern heavens, there being no single star 
correspondentwith the" Pole Star" of ourown hemisphere. 
Below the cross the two fine stars of the " Centaur," 
stars of the first magnitude, shine with the greatest 
brilliancy, looking like pointers to the " Southern Cross." 
The brightest of them, Alpha Centauri, is remarkable, 
not only as being the nearest of the fixed stars to us, and 
yet so distant that it takes above three years for a ray of 
its light to reach us, but it is also one of the double stars, 
consisting of two suns revolving round each other in an 
orbit so elongated as to occupy above seventy-eight 
years in the period of its revolution. These suns are of 
an orange-yellow colour. 

In the course of the precession of the equinoxes — said 
to occupy an interval of some 26,000 years in the com- 












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1.4 ill 1.6 











(716) 872-4503 









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Voyages of Discovery. 

pletion of the circuit of the heavens — the star "Vega," 
in the constellation of " Lyra," will in some 12,000 years 
have become the " Pole Star " of the northern hemisphere ; 
when " Canopus," in the southern hemisphere, will take the 
place of the " Cross " in the Antarctic heavens as the 
" Pole Star." 

The four stars of the " Southern Cross " are them- 
selves said to be moving in contrary directions, and with 
unequal velocities, so that this constellation, if such be 
the case, will not always retain its present form. The 
" Coal-sack," a pear-shaped, black void in space, situated 
near the " Cross," has only one small star visible to the 
naked eye ; yet the great white " Cloud of Magellan " 
{^Nubecula major) under the telescope unfolds to view a 
rich group of coloured stars, of extreme beauty, clustered 
round the star " Kappa," a deep red, central one, amid 
others of varied shades of blue and green, studding the 
depths of space with brilliant gems of every hue. 

Should these far-distant suns have planets revolving 
round them like our own sun, what varied and beautiful 
coloured days must result from these primary colours, 
some days perhaps red, others blue or green, or a neutral 
tint from a combination of these. How wonderful is 
that abyss of space, through which it is thought our own 
sun is revolving round some other vast and central unseen 
orb, at a velocity of four miles a second, in the direction 
of the constellation '' Hercules," towards a point (Alcy- 
one) in the heavens, in which the " Pleiades " becomes 
the centre of the movement of revolution of the solar 

Wednesday, yd. — We turned the boat bottom up- 
wards, stowing our things beneath it, and at 8.30 a.m. 
set out upon our journey across the isthmus for the 
opposite coast. Our course lay over low, rocky ridges, 
by several lakes, and a remarkable stone resting on 
a tripod of three smaller ones. I shot three teal at 



Crossing the Isthmus to opposite Shore. 


the lakes, and at 10.30 a.m. we came in sight of the sea, 
on climbing over a steep rock to the left of a deep 
chasm, when a fine view all at once opened upon us — 
a bold, black, snow-clad headland, and small iceberg 
lying off it. Our course to the westward now lay over 
a steep boggy slope of soft, spongy soil, clothed with 
a spreading, tufted plant, like a covering of moss, on the 
dibris at the base of a mountain-range of greenstone, 
which flanked it on one side, and the sea on the other. 
Cascades of water poured down the almost perpendi- 
cular wall of columnar greenstone, intersecting the bog 
beneath by numerous and deep watercourses. These 
rendered the whole of our journey very laborious, sinking 
up to the knees at every step, encumbered, too, as we 
were by our heavy knapsacks and blanket-bags, for sleep- 
ing in, strapped to our backs. At noon we rested on the 
bog to dine, during which I took the opportunity for 
ascending the columnar ridge above us at a spot where 
it appeared to be accessible. But just as I had reached 
the summit, the weather became thick and overcast with 
rain, depriving me of a sight of the inlet in advance of 
us. After descending and taking a hasty lunch, we 
started again at one p.m., but soon found that the work 
was too heavy and toilsome for our party to proceed any 
further with their heavy baggage. 

We therefore halted at a waterfall, and I proposed 
taking the youngest and most active man of our party 
with me to explore the inlet, leaving our knapsacks with 
the rest of the party in charge of Lieutenant Phillips. 
Accompanied by Marshall, I managed to reach the 
entrance to the inlet, about a mile distant. Here the high 
rocky cliffs on its left above the low black rocky point on 
which we stood, and on which the surf was heavily break- 
ing, prevented us rounding the angle so as to ascertain 
to what extent the inlet ran up inland. The rain now 
increasing, with the wind coming in heavy gusts, and 




Voyages of Discovery. 

\ 'I 

with night approaching we returned to where we had 
left our party, after crossing some heavy torrents rushing 
down the steep slope to the sea. It took us an hour to 
get over two miles of ground. 

At 3.30 p.m. the whole party resumed their knapsacks 
and bore up for the boat, but the night closing in upon 
us with wind and rain, which swelled the heavy torrents 
we had to cross, compelled us to pitch our tent soon 
after dark, at the base of a black, craggy rock, on the 
margin of a large lake, a cascade falling on the right. 
The ground being wet shingle, we paved the interior of 
the tent with fragments of rock, and, laying our wet 
clothes beneath us, got into our blanket-bags. The night 
was wet and gloomy, and the lake, flooded by the rains, 
rose within a foot of our tent, the inside of which became 
an atmosphere of steam from our wet clothes. 

Thursday, t\tli. — We rose at daylight, struck the tent, 
and continued our jouiney, ascending the steep path 
between the rocks on our right, and somewhat changed 
our course back. The weather cloudy and gloomy, but 
without rain. The rocks here contained numerous drusy 
cavities of fine crystallized quartz, of which I picked up 
several specimens. In crossing some streams of water 
down a deep descent in the rocks, our men missed us, 
and, having taken a more direct course, reached the boat 
first, whilst my colleague and myself went round a point 
to the eastward and came upon the beach below the 
boat. Here he and I also separated, as I followed up 
the windings of the shore, picking up shells and seaweed, 
and reached the boat about one p.m., having to wade 
through the water round a rocky point to the cove where 
the boat was hauled up. Here I met Barker, our marine, 
chasing the white birds with a boarding-pike. The shags 
were flying round us in great numbers, as if they were 
welcoming our return, for they seem to be very sociable 
birds. Having changed our wet clothes and dined, we 
launched the boat on our return-voyage down Cumber- 

Campiiig out. 


land Ray. Passed a smooth, curious-looking hill with a 
gently undulating outline, and having a somewhat 
marbled appearance in the distance, so different in 
aspect to the surrounding basaltic and rough-broken 
greenstone ridges, between which this, and many more 
we saw on our way down, emerged in isolated cones, and 
proved, on examination, to be phonolite or clinkstone. 

At 3.45 p.m. we landed upon a shingly beach, on the 
east side of North Bay, and I walked for about half a 
mile to have a close examination of one of those round, 
conical hills, presenting so remarkable an appearance in 
the distance, the whole hill being a pile of laminated 
foliaceous fragments of phonolite. Some of the speci- 
mens I picked up were most singularly marked by what 
had the appearance of sea-weed impressions, the red 
colour of the markings on the light greyish surface of the 
clinkstone, or, rather, yellowish ground, were very striking, 
and were probably owing to an oxide of iron. On the 
opposite side of this bay is another of these isolated 
masses protruding through a greenstone range of hills, 
looking like a smooth, light-coloured marble saddle as it 
appeared between the dark trappean rocks enclosing it. 
At 3.10 p.m. we shoved off from the beach, crossing 
Cumberland Bay to our small b.iy on the south side, 
which we named South or Duck Bay, from the number 
of teal we met with there. But the night being very 
dark for finding a suitable place for hauling up the boat, 
we anchored her for the night off a strip of beach in the 
south-west corner of the bay at 6.40 p.m., and had our 
supper of stewed birds, made with teal, chionis, and 
shags ; then spread the boat's awning, and after having 
had a cup of tea, at 9.30 p.m., we turned into our blanket- 
bags for the night, which came on wet and stormy, 
ending in such violent gusts of wind that before the night 
was half spent we were compelled to lower the awning, 
which had been pressed inwards by a heavy fall of snow 
succeeding the rain. The air was cold and pinching, the 

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Voyages of Discoz'i'jy, 

bottom of the boat wet, and we had now no other cover- 
ing than what our blanket-bags afforded us stretched out 
on the thwarts of the boat. 

Friday^ ^th. — After a hasty breakfast of cocoa and 
cold tongue, we got the anchor up, and at nine a.m. 
pulled up the south-west creek, landing on a fine sandy 
beach on the starboard side. I then proceeded up a 
valley, intersected by pools of water, bounded on either 
side by a lofty ridge of hills. I shot a beautifully- 
marked male teal from a flock flying over the lake, 
into which it fell, but I succeeded in getting it, and in 
the boat skinned it for my collection. Near this spot a 
very curious bank rises a few feet from the ground, of a 
rich black soil, with a bright-green covering of grass and 
moss, which at a distance presented the appearance of a 
small enclosure or garden on which the snow had fallen. 
When on it, fancy might liken it to the deck of a ship in 
shape, with a hollow bowl at one extremity. A little 
further on I shot a brace of teal at one shot. They had 
been feeding on the seed of the cabbage near a stream 
of water, the ground being here very swampy, with some 
scattered rocks. When about two miles from the boat, I 
reached the margin of a fine lake, having a smooth level 
beach of sand and shingle in front ; and the dark green of 
the water at first gave some hope that it might have 
been an arm of the sea ; but, on tasting the water, its 
freshness soon dissipated the delusic^. It is bounded 
on either side by a lofty range of trappean hills, rising to 
2000 feet in height. The length of this lake is a mile 
and a half, by half a mile in breadth. At the right-hand 
comer of the beach a large mass of rock and moss- 
covered debrh at the foot of the mountain enabled me, 
by ascending it, to examine the rocks in situ, which I 
found were composed of greenstone and amygdaloid. 
Here I encountered a heavy storm of hail and snow, 
drifting before a strong breeze, and at noon I beat a 
retreat for the boat, and reached it at 12.40 p.m., shoot- 

Adventures by the way. 


ing another teal on "he way back. After a dinner of 
pea-soup and pork made sail down the bay in the boat, 
but, on reaching Cape Cumberland, the sky wore such a 
threatening aspect to windward, that we bore up for the 
top of the bay again. I shot a fine specimen of the 
black-backed gull {Lariis vtan'ntis), and at four p.m. 
hauled up the boat on a fine sandy beach, under a rock 
which juts out in the form of a promontory about the 
centre of the head of the bay. I walked along the 
naiTow bank of sand to the end of the beach, where 
a stream enters the bay. For nearly a mile inland is 
a low, level plain of sand, and intersected by wr»ter- 
rourscs in various directions, coming down from the hills 
above. Beyond this plain, to the south, is a succession 
of ridges, bounded on the east and west by hill-ranges, 
between which, in all probability, an opening to White Bay 
on the south exists. I returned to the boat at ^.'\o n.m. 
The rock on the west side of it is composed of greenstone, 
veined with quartz. Here I shot a chionis. Had tea, fol- 
lowed by bird-soup, for supper, and turned in at nine p.m. 
Saturday, 6ih. — After breakfast, whilst the boat was 
getting ready, I rambled over the south ridges for some 
two miles, and, had my time permitted me to have con- 
tinued, doubtless I should have come upon the sea. I shot 
a teal, and '•eturned to the boat at 11.30 a.m. Had a 
fair wind blowing fresh, which carried us down and out 
of Cumberland Bay. At 1.15 p.m. we were off Cape 
Cumberland, using oars and sails alternately from the 
Cape to Arched Point, and notwithstanding which, from 
the bad weather-qualities of the cutter as a sea-boat, we 
were drifted so much to leeward, that had the breeze 
been stronger we should not have fetched Chnstmas 
Harbour. Chionis and shags lined the rocks along the 
coast as we passed. When about a mile from the land 
we fe'l in with one of the largest seals, wounded and 
bleeding from one eye. It must have received the 
wound in Christmas Harbour, and to put an end to his 


Voyages of Discovery. 

f fii' 'i . 


sufferings I put a ball through his head from my old 
double-barrel, and we passed a noose of rope over his 
head, but, it slipping off, we had no time to lose, and left 
him floundering in his last struggles. As we passed the 
Arched Rock I shot a brace of chionis from the boat, 
and landed to pick them up. As there was much swell 
and serf on the rocks, Phillips remained in the boat with 
her crew, lying on their oars at a distance, whilst I 
retrieved my game, and shot a teal on the rocks, till I 
returned in about half an hour. Having ascended the 
dihris within the arch, and found some remarkable speci- 
mens of the fossil wood, with the rugged bark very 
distinct, and having a rugose and twisted appearance, 
charred in some portions, but generally very ponderous 
from silicification — one beautiful fragment, a perfect sec- 
tion of a large branch, I found embedded inside the 
arch, and projecting from the wall of massive basalt or 
lava, at about six feet from the ground — I measured the 
span of the arch over the uneven surface of the debris, 
making it about thirty-six paces. Returned round the 
narrow low neck dividing the arch from the point. 
Several chionis were leisurely, as usual with them, walking 
about it. After shoving off in the boat we hailed the 
ship in passing at four p.m., and finding Captain Ross 
on shore, pulled to the observatory to report our return, 
and on board afterwards. 

Two bearings of Sentry-box, entranre of Cumberland Hay. 
{Scepaj^e 55.) 

-,' ! 

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Remarkable I'honolitc Hill in North Day, Cumberland IJay. 
{See pa lie 72.) 


Second boat-expedition — Arched Rock — Penguin Cove — Ornithological 
and botanical specimens— Our bird-soups — A large cabbage — 
CJregson Hay discovered — A hard day's work — Clinkstone Hill — 
A dangerous adventure in search of teal for our larder — A tem- 
pestuous night. 

SmidaVy 'jth. — Captain Ross told me to-day that we 
were to start again on Tuesday, the 9th, on a second 
exploratory expedition to Cumberland Bay. At four p.m. 
I dined on board the Terror with my late colleague in 
the boat-voyage, Phillips, and returned on board at 
8.30 p.m. It is intended to send a boat from each ship 
up White Bay to-morrow under the charge of the first 
lieutenant of the Erebus. 

Tuesday, 9///. — Blowing too hard for us to start to-day, 
and our own first lieutenant, who, I have very good 
reasons for thinking, does not much relish the nature of 
the service his chief has nominated him for, nor the state 
of the weather either, has gone upon the sick-list. I had 
to land in the galley before breakfast, and through a 

VOL. I. F 

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Foya^cs of Discovery. 

heavy surf, to report him in the list to Captain Ross at 
the observatory. I had a delicate duty to perform, it 
must be confessed, and it put all my ideas of nosology to 
the test, and racked my brain to find a suitable term 
under which I could enter the indisposition of this martyr 
to science in my sick-book. 

Saturday, \2t^li. — Employed in skinning birds, and 
had three boxes and two haversacks made for my boat- 

Tuesday, June \6th. — The weather moderating some- 
what, my former boat-companion, Lieutenant Phillips, 
called alongside for me in the Terror cutter at 9.15 a.m., 
our boat's crew being the same as before. Soon after 
we had shoved off from the ship, my companion dis- 
covered that he had forgotten his sextant, which we had 
to put back for. when at 9.30 a.m. we made sail out of 
the harbour ; weather still gloomy and threatening, rain 
with a good deal of swell outside the Arched Point. 
On rounding Cape Cumberland at 10.45 ^•'^- the wind 
had freshened, and the sky to windward wore a black 
and ominous aspect, we had to lower the sail, get out 
the oars, and pull against a head-wind up the bay, 
our progress much obstructed by a quantity of seaweed 
lining the shore on the starboard side. After buffeting 
with the breeze till we had got about half a mile within 
the bay, we were left to the alternative of either drifting 
out to sea or risk getting the boat knocked to pieces in 
the surf on the rocks, by attempting to get her into a 
small rocky bend or indentation, just within Cape Cum- 
berland, where we had noticed a small cave within a 
projecting mass of black rock, although a considerable 
swell set in upon the ledge of rocks. VVe fortunately 
succeeded, after getting everything out of the boat to 
lighten her, in hauling her over this bar without being 
stove. But had it not been high-water at the time, aided 
by a quantity of seaweed hanging from the rocks, we 


Night bivouac y Ctimbcrland Corner, 


could not have succeeded. It was p-^st midday when 
we had secured the boat on a narrow platform at the 
base of the hi^h overhanging cliff. On our right was 
a watercourse down a green bank, up which I ascended 
with my gun in search of some teal, chionis, and tern I 
had seen. At two p.m. I crossed a spongy bog, inter- 
sected by numerous streams and falls from the hills 
above, for a distance of about a mile and a half. 

I found the teal more abundant here than in any other 
place hitherto visited, having shot six and a half brace, 
two at a shot four times. The white chionis were also 
walking about the bog in great numbers, and I could 
have shot any number of them. There was also a small 
colony of penguins on the coast-ledges ; a drizzling rain 
fell most of tlie afternoon. I returned to the boat at 
five p.m. The full moon sent its feeble rays through a 
break in the clouds, a star or two becoming visible. The 
shadowy, indistinct outline of the boat, as it appeared 
through the gloom under the shadow of the rocks, with 
its streak of light issuing from the triangular opening in 
the awning amidships, gave a momentary relief to the 
wild solitude of the scene, and to the feelings of one 
alone and drenched to the skin as I was, in approaching 
my place of bivouac for the night, and shelter from the 
boisterous elements. We enjoy most things in this life 
by comparison, and through sudden contrasts in our 
circumstances. For after changing my wet clothes, and 
having had a dinner of preserved meat and a supper of 
stewed chionis, I turned into my blanket-bag in the 
stern-sheets of the boat with a feeling of satisfaction, and 
1 might venture to add, comfort not always experienced 
in the downy feather-bed on its ample four-poster. 

Wednesday^ \']th. — Being weather-bound in our not 
very cosy corner here, at eleven a.m. I started on another 
ramble over the bog, and saw Arched Rock Point in the 
distance. I shot two and a half brace more teal, and, on 

F 2 




;< ■! 

! I 


Voyajrcs of Discovery. 

my return to the boat at one, had some stewed for dinner, 
and plum-pudding I had brought with me from the ship. 
At three p.m. I started on yet another excursion, over 
the hill and the bog to Penguin Cove, where I caught a 
fine penguin, the leader of a batch of twenty-two others, 
and shot another brace of teal. Here I picked up some 
beautiful specimens of moss. I heard a chirping sound 
issuing from a hole in the bank near a watercourse, 
evidently produced by some nocturnal petrel, for it 
became silent on my approach to its subterranean abode. 
I did not get back to the boat till after dark, through a 
heavy hail-storm, for the afternoon had been very stormy. 
As I was descending the hill to the boat, a tern flying 
overhead made known its vicinity by its cry on being 
disturbed, and to which it fell a victim; I shot it, needing 
specimens both for the collection and the pot. I reached 
the boat at 5.45 p.m., and from nine to midnight was 
busily employed skinning and preserving the penguin 
and tern, and noting down the occurrences of the day. 

Thursday, \8t/i. — The weather having moderated this 
morning, we struck the awning, got everything out of 
the boat, and, after no small labour, at 9.30 a.m. launched 
her over the rocky ridge at near low water; when a 
breeze springing up from seaward, we made sail up the 
bay. At 10.15 off Black Rock Cove, at 11.30 a.m. 
passed South Bay, and soon afterwards those remarkable- 
looking phonolite hills, erupted between the fissures of 
the greenstone range, with their smooth, rounded, pictu- 
resque summits, and light shade of colour, contrasting so 
strikingly with the dark trappean rocks. We sailed 
round the small bay in which these hills are mostly 
located ; met with a great number of shags here, and a 
few small petrel. A freshening breeze carried us to the 
highest part of Cumberland Bay, which, after first con- 
tracting itself, expands into a basin at the upper end. 
In attempting to beach the boat on a sandy beach at 

A /ari^c Cabbas^c. 


the starboard corner, we grounded in shallow water, and 
with the luff-tackles had to haul her up on the left above 
high-water mark, in a pelting hail-stonn, driven by a 
heavy gale, which in sudden gusts blew up the bay. We 
at last, at one p.m., effected a landing. Whilst I was 
sounding for the depth of water, in getting into the boat 
again, the ramrod of my favourite old gun fell overboard 
in a fathom of water. We had some penguin-soup for 
dinner, which the cook for the day had spoilt by making 
it into a complete paste with flour, and it was five p.m. 
before we had completed our arrangements for the night. 

I saw here a remarkable instance of the power of the 
native cabbage to withstand the effi-cts of salt-water, 
apparently without sustaining any injury. A row of the 
very finest and largest of these plants, growing just 
above the ordinary high-water mark, about two feet iij 
height, with stout stems bearing the scars from which 
former leaves had dropped off, and indicative of age, * 
now appeared on the very spot of the sandy beach where 
we landed, half-submerged, as if growing out of the sea, 
from the unusually high tide, occasioned by the strong 
southerly gale blowing up the bay. This with the hail 
and snow-storms foreboded a boisterous night. 

Friday t \gtli. — My ramrod, I am glad to say, was 
found this morning in about a foot of water. Having 
made a hasty breakfast of cold tongue and cocoa, at 
9.30 a.m. we made another start for the weather coast 
by a somewhat different route to our former one. Leaving 
our things under the boat capsized, we passed by a 
watercourse down a greenstone hill, where I found some 
stray fragments of coal and lignite scattered amongst 
the ligneous ddbris. At 11. 15 a.m. we again came in 
sight of the sea through a gap in the rocks ; and on 
rounding these we passed the margin of the lake where 
we encamped in the first expedition. Then continuing 
our course through the valley by streams of water till we 







• i 

1 ! I 



'' ' 



I i 



Voyages of Discovery. 

reached the ridge above the bogs, we now ascended 
the former instead of proceeding along the latter low 
ground, till wo arrived at the inlet at 12.30 p.m., and 
which had cut off my further progress last time. Being 
myself much ahead of the rest of the party, I had time 
to make a hasty sketch, and take the bearings of ♦he 
bay whilst awaiting their arrival. Found the bay, which 
I have named aft(;r an old friend, the late Mr. Gregson 
of Risdon, Tasmania — Gregson Bay — to be about two 
miles in length by one in breadth, bounded by a range 
of rugged hills, highest at the sides and lowest at the 
upper end, presenting a picturesque outline. The hill 
from which about two-thirds up I took my sketch, is, 
perhaps, the highest, and about 1500 feet above the bay; 
some low ledges of black rocks stud the entrance. At 
1.30 p.m. I descended by a steep pass from the extremity 
of the ridge to the bog beneath, where we picked up the 
cache of a week's allowance of provisions, biscuits, pre- 
served meat cases, and rum, we had to leave behind 
us in our former excursion, with a boarding-pike left as a 
mark to the spot. Here I shot two and a half brace of 
teal, and at 3.30 p.m. we commenced our return to the 
boat ; blowing hard with sleet. Had to ascend a steep 
and broad watercourse, which was studded with large 
fragments of igneous rocks, down which rushed a rapid 
torrent ; and on reaching the lower grounds had to 
wade through two deep streams. The snow was in 
many spots knee-deep. Finding the extra weight of the 
cache too much for our men to get down to the boat, we 
deposited it unuer a rock ; and, as we approached the 
the top of Cumberland Bay, we passed another of the 
phonolite hills, and descended a steep watercourse to 
the beach, reached our boat at 7.45 p.m. Our poor 
fellows were thoroughly worn out and wearied with the 
hardest day's work we have hitherto had ; and my worthy, 
staunch, persevering associate, Lieutenant Phillips, once 

I " :;! 





S 5 

c ^ 
o = 

Sf § 

■Hi* if it 






Gregson Bay discovered. 


got himself so embedded to the hips in a watercourse 
of the spongy bog, that he could not extricate himself 
till the cumbersome knapsack was unbuckled and re- 
moved from his shoulders ; I happened to come up just 
in time to aid him. On more than one occasion I had 
myself slipped down the deep snow and ice, where inter- 
mingled with the rapidly-falling torrent, obstructed in 
its course by the steep and rugged rocks, and had nc 
slight difficulty in extricating myself. Having changed 
our wet clothes, and lighted a fire in the boat's stove, we 
had some of the teal I shot on the bog roasted for 
supper, with plum-pudding, followed by tea, and turned 
into our blanket-bags at eleven p.m ; but the gusts of 
wind came so heavy that the boat reeled on her supports, 
with the awning filled and pressed down upon us by the 
weight of the incumbent snow, threatening every minute 
to capsize her. 

Saturday, 20th. — We sent four of our boat's crew to 
bring back the cache of provisions left at the bog. I 
skinned a penguin in the forenoon ; and at one p.m. took 
my gun for a stroll along the beach, and shot three and 
a half brace of teal, returning to the boat at three p.m. 
Had roast and stewed teal for dinner. Started again at 
four p.m. along the beach to the creek ; shot three more 
teal, two at one shot, and returned at 5.45 p.m. I tasted 
some of the stewed mussels to-day, and although I have 
no taste for shell-fish, found them remarkably well- 
flavoured and of large size ; they abound in the rocks about 
the bay. Had tea at eight p.m., and afterwards skinned 
and preserved two teal, and turned in at 10.30 p.m. 

Sunday, 2\st. — Rose at eight a.m., and after breakfast 
launched the boat on our return down Cumberland Bay, 
and, before I left, pulled up the finest of the large cab- 
bages from the phalanx, a little forest in miniature, which 
at high water-mark flanked the top of the bay. From 
the appearance of its rugose, knotted stem, and being a 





Voyages of Discovery. 


perennial, it would seem to have braved the storms and 
lashings of the sea at every high tide, throughout a 
somewhat prolonged term of existence. I placed it in 
the stern-sheets of the boat for preservation, as the 
largest specimen I have met with in the island, and still 
have it in my collection ; indeed, it was the largest plant 
of any kind met with. At 10.45 'i-"^- we commenced 
our homeward voyage down the bay, sounding with the 
lead-line as we proceeded. At noon I landed at a slight 
indentation of the greenstone range, assuming the co- 
lumnar form opposite the hills of phonolite on the south 
side. After crossing over a swampy level, strewed with 
foliated fragments of clinkstone, I ascended the hill on 
the right, and went over the whole length of the summit 
of the ridge to the swampy plain below, about a mile 
from the boat, which I reached at two p.m. 

This hill of clinkstone emerges from the greenstone 
range of hills, 700 or 800 feet in height, and from which 
it is separated by a ravine, and itself attains a height of 
300 feet, having a north and south direction. Four and 
six-sided, or hexagon?' columns of the phonolite, in 
places, emerge from the confused heap of broken schis- 
tose fragments with which the mountain is for the most 
part covered. Some of these slaty foliaceous specimens 
I collected are curiously marked with red concentric 
lines on a yellowish, sandy-coloured ground, but none 
with the singular seaweed-like impressions found on the 
hill in North 

We shoveu oif in the boat, through rain and fog, after 
our customary meal, now of teal roasted, and teal stewed 
by way c'^ change ; for any variety or change in the diet, 
however trifling, has at all times a beneficial effect on 
the general health. We fetched into North Bay, and 
hauled the boat up on a sandy beach, at the south-west 
corner, beneath a phonolite hill intersecting the trap. 
The long line of sandy beach is backed by a level plain 

Encamped in North Bay. 


of swampy ground, covered with mosses, dwarf, tufted 
plants, and strewed over with stones — a watercourse 
flowing through it. Had tea, and some of the fine- 
flavoured stewed mussels, and turned in at 8.30 p.m., 
the wind blowing in heavy gusts, accompanied by rain, 
the boat's awning flapping violentl}-, threatening to unroof 
us every moment. 

Monday, 22nd. — We passed a most uncomfortable 
night, everything about us cold, damp, wet, and chilly. 
After a cocoa and grilled-pork breakfast, I left the boat 
at 8.50 a.m. to ascend and examine the structure of the 
remarkable hill above us, following the watercourse where 
it lies in contact with the greenstone, or line of junction. 
The ascent to the summit, 600 feet, is steep, the sudden 
gusts of wind rendering the foothold very inse:ure. 
About tv ^-thirds up, the phonolite appears in prismatic 
colur*- ;rough the loose, fragmentary ddhris. It came 
on to idin before I reached the boat, at 1 1.20 a.m., when 
we shoved ofl^ in a fresh gale for the opposite side of 
Cumberland Bay, and the wind proving fair, at 12.30 p.m. 
we hauled the boat up upon the beach, at our old 
quarters, to the left of the small promontory at the head 
of South Bay. Being now reduced to short allowance of 
provisions, in short, to a piece of salt beef and a flour- 
dumpling for our boat's-crew's dinner, after the boat was 
secured for the night, I took my gun for a ramble along 
the beach in search of some teal, whose plaintive low 
whistle I had heard, for an addition to our larder, little 
thinking when I left the boat the adventure I was entering 
upon, and which was so near leading to a night out, 
without the slightest shelter, in one of the most tem- 
pestuous nights I ever experienced. 

For, on reaching the watercourse formed by the falls 
of fresh water, brought down in torrents from the ridge 
of hills bounding the top of the bay to where it debouches 
into the sea, I found that the rains had so flooded it. 






? ' 


Voyages of Discovery. 

both in depth and breadth, that, in attempting to ford it, 
so strong was the rush of water, I was nearly carried 
off my feet bodily into the sea, and when swept off' my 
foothold only escaped by striking out tor the opposite 
bank, and grappling with it. My gun, having become 
submerged, neither barrels would go off at the only teal 
I met with, at the further end of the beach, where a few 
chionis were searching amongst the seaweed for their 
marine food. 

Being thus well drenched, and my heavy water-boots 
filled with water, and gun useless, I would have returned 
to the boat at once by the way I came, as the shortest 
route, not more than half a mile ; but the stream, which 
had every minute been increasing, and getting more 
impassable, now, on my return to it, rushed along in such 
an impetuous torrent as to render any further attempt to 
cross it hopeless in the extreme. The only alternative 
left me was to make a long circuit of the ridge of hills 
bounding the top of the bay, or rather plain, which was 
now intersected in every direction by rapid streams of 
water ; yet at other times I had walked over it without 
wetting the soles of my shoes. But, before I had com- 
pleted one half of the distance, my progress became 
arrested by cascade after cascade rushing down the 
steep rocky declivities in foaming torrents. 

Darkness had now set in to increase the difficulties 
of my situation, and the increasing wind threatened a 
most tempestuous night. My only chance now was 
to make the circuit of the ridge higher up, where, 
possibly, the torrents might become narrower, so as to 
enable me to leap over them. First disencumbering 
myself of my haversack, containing some of the finest 
specimens of quartz crystals in large drusy cavities, 
weighing in all some fifty pounds, and which I had 
picked up soon after crossing the first torrent, I re- 
luctantly made a cache of them on a rock, at the edge of 



A perilous Adventure. 


a foaming torrenl, taking a cross bearing of the spot, as 
well as the darkness would permit of, by an observation 
of the most striking point and depression of the moun- 
tain-outlines, on either side, as they stood out in strong 
relief against the sky. Thus lightened, I hoped to have 
cleared all obstacles to my further progress, when reaching 
the lower portion of a black, rugged mountain, my ears 
were all at once saluted by the disheartening sound of a 
large, foaming torrent, which soon burst upon me, 
dashing down a deep gorge in the rocks, in a white, 
foaming cascade, forming eddies and whirlpools amongst 
the loose rocky fragments, as they obstructed its course. 
The darkness of the night, only relieved by the fitful 
glare from the white, foaming spray, the torrents sent 
upwards, the terrific gusts of wind, accompanied by a de- 
luge of rain, combined, together with black, overhanging, 
frowning precipices, to form a scene of the wildest 
description. I began to relinquish all hope of reaching 
the boat, and to reflect on the best course to be pursued; 
whether to attempt to dash through this torrent by swim- 
ming, as it was impossible to ford it in any direction, or 
to seek some cavern in the rocks for shelter through 
such a night in such a country, when on sounding the 
torrent with my gun, to ascertain its force and depth, it 
was all but twisted out of my hand. The crossing, 
therefore, was hopeless. It was now past six o'clock, 
and I followed the torrent upwards in the vain hope of 
finding it narrower, approaching its source, groping in 
the dark amidst crags and hollows, rendered so slippery 
with the rain, that on more than one occasion I was only 
saved from being hurled down some yawning precipice, 
through the friendly aid of my old double-barrelled gun, 
with the butt-end of which I sounded my way, vhich 
becoming steeper and steeper, and despairing of getting 
nearer its source, I resolved upon trying to follow it in its 
descent to the plain : a tortuous route, but eventually I 


?! ■ 

"(i t 



Voyages of Discovery. 


succeeded in fording it, where it spread out on some 
sands, lessened in depth. 

As I felt that I could not be now at any great distance 
from the boat, I hailed as loud as I could, in the hope 
that a pistol might be fired as a guide to its position, and, 
after a few minutes had transpired, a flash lighted up all 
around, although the boat itself was invisible ; and after 
crossing a small, boggy hillock, for I had been wading up 
to my knees in water, I saw the light of a port-fire, which 
illumined the whole of the swampy space separatmg 
me from the boat, and on my rounding the promontory 
behind which she was lying, she suddenly came in sight, 
the light between the folds of the awning indicating her 

At about seven p.m. I had the inexpressible gratifica- 
tion of finding myself in the stern-sheets, under the 
cover of that awning, after wandering for upwards of two 
hours in the dark, and drenched to the skin for double 
that time. After having changed my wet clothes I had 
some tea, with some stewed chionis our thoughtful, kind- 
hearted boat's-crew had caught during my absence, and 
kept for my supper, for they had been most anxious about 
me, and had been watching in the bow of the boat for 
hours, listening for any signal from me, hence their so 
speedily hearing and answering my hail. They had ex- 
pected to hear the report of my gun, which, unluckily for 
me, had early become useless ; and in such a place and 
night of weather they knew not where to look for me. 

At 9.30 p.m. I turned into my blanket-bag; but our 
rest was of short duration, for scarcely time was allowed 
me to congratulate myself on my narrow escape from 
passing the night out — and such a night — in these wilds, 
when the gale increased to such a hurricane, and the 
heavy rain beat upon us with such violence, that the boat's 
awning was soon flapping about our ears in all directions. 
We had to strike it, and roll ourselves up in its folds for 


A tempestuous Night. 


the remainder of this dismal and freezing night. So 
ended this to me memorable excursion in search of teal 
for the pot. 

Tuesday^ 2^rd. — This morning various things blown 
out of the boat during the late tempestuous night were 
picked up along the beach, some of them, improbable 
as it may seem, half a mile from the boat, and such was 
the force of some of the gusts of this tornado, that one 
heavy box of my rock-specimens was hurled out of 
the stern-sheets to a considerable distance. The air 
was chill and intensely cold. These sudden floods are 
caused by heavy rains melting the snow and ice on the 
summits of the mountain-ranges. 






i| il 


!i \ 

Coal Seam, Uuck Bay, Cunibciland Bay. {Sir finite 8r.) 

li I 

'I I 



New bay discovered — Club-moss Bay — Seals for supper — Find a coal- 
seam— A wet bed in a wintry niyht on the rocks — Piovisions 
exhausted — Return to the Erebus — Packing the fossil tree — 
Burrowing for " night petrels " — Farewell to the island. 

When I was in thiy bay last I came to the conclusion, 
from the appearance presented by the ridges above it, and 
their direction, bounded by high land on either side, that 
a southerly course would take me to White Bay, the next 
bay running parallel with Cumberland Bay. To-morrow, 
being the day fixed for our return to the ship, I deter- 
mined to settle this question, and at 1 1.30 a.m., accom- 
panied by Fawcett, our boatswain's mate (who, poor fellow, 
subsequently perished with the old ships in the ill-fated 
" Franklin Expedition "). Our way lay over the scenes 
of my last night's adventure, first across the flat, sandy 

Discover a uew Bay. 


plain between the boat and the ridges, which, swollen by 
the floods, then was one sheet of water, but was now in 
so short a space of time drained nearly dry ; and the 
watercourses down the rocks above it no longer foamed 
in torrents, but could be easily crossed from stone to 
stone. In short, no greater contrast could be conceived 
than between last night and this morning. 

At 12.40 p.m., when three and a half miles from the 
boat, on the top of one of the ridges, I was gratified with 
a glance of the sea at a distance, and, pushing on, in 
about ten minutes a fine bay opened to the left, bounded 
by a bold, rocky headland. At 1.30 p.m. I stood on a 
steep ridge overhanging a low, swampy valley beneath, 
looking green, and skirted by a pretty smooth sandy 
beach, laved by the waters of the bay, distant from the 
boat about five miles. I descended a steep declivity 
between two waterfalls to the beach, where we found four 
seals basking ; I shot one with a ball, and another with a 
charge of small shot, for their hearts and livers, which 
we brought away with us for our supper. The remaining 
two only rolled themselves a little higher up on the grass 
on which they had been sleeping, and made no further 
attempt to escape, and we left them there uninjured, to 
condole with each other on the fate of their companions. 
Numerous skeletons of seals were strewed about the beach 
on which the chionis were walking amongst the seaweed ; I 
killed two of them at one shot. Saw several black-backed 
gulls, and picked up a few Pholas shells and some speci- 
mens of echini (sea eggs) and coralines ; a few tern were 
hovering overhead. In the centre of the beach is a 
very remarkable square hummock near high-water mark. 
At 3.15 p.m. we started on our return. Weather fine, but 
cloudy. Struck through the valley, and over ridges by 
a trapdyke. E.N.E. -} E. Just before we reached the 
boat, at 5.15 p.m., a little after dark, when crossing the 
sandy plain, which I have too good reason to recollect, 


t i;ff 




I 'oyai^cs of Discovery. 



f i 


it became thick with a hail-storm. We had the seals 
hearts and livers for supper, and turned into our bags at 
7.30 p.m. Our new discovery appears to be a bay inside 
Point Pringle, near the entrance to White liay, which I 
have named Club-moss Bay from having discovered a 
fiew species of that lycopod in its vicinity only, 

Wednesday, 24//^. — As it was blowing too hard to put 
to sea, I filled up the spare time by making an excursion 
up the ravine above the creek, at the south-west corner of 
South or Duck Bay. I left the boat at 9.40 a.m., and was 
accompanied by my marine. Barker. Lieutenant Phillips 
at the same time started with his own three men for the 
bay I discovered yesterday. At 10.40 a.m. we arrived 
at the margin of the lake, my furthest in this direction in 
the first expedition. Only saw a solitary teal there. We 
next shaped our course along the left side of the lake, over 
the rocky di^bris, forming a talus at the base of a high 
range of hills, and in one or two places a shingly 
beach. As we were rounding a sharp angle of the 
mountain we encountered a tremendous gust of wind, 
even for this stormy land, whirling with all the fury of 
a tornado, and were only saved from being blown into the 
lake by my clinging to the projecting crags, or, as my com- 
panion did, by throwing his Herculean form on the ground 
in a horizontal position. At 1 1.25 we reached the upper 
end of the lake, which is a mile and a half in length. 
We were now five miles from the boat, following the 
zigzag course of the swampy valley, with high ridges 
of trappean hills on either side. Four miles above the 
lake we ascended the ridge near a cascade which fell over 
a precipice in front of a cavern, beautifully frosted over 
by the congealed spray. From this spot hills arose in 
every direction to obstruct all view further ahead ; and 
after passing another frosted fall, and seeing no prospect of 
the valley speedily terminating on the coast, which it had 
been my object to reach, and I hoped might be the case. 



1 i 


&• — 

(2 3 










.J^JU — 





Provisions runniufr short. 


we rested by the side of a waterfall, to take a hasty 
lunch, and then descended by the fall to the valley. 
At one p.m. we ascended an isolated rocky hummock 
in the centre of the valley, which afforded a view for 
about a mile ahead, the last bend of the valley being to 
the S.S.W. We commenced our return journey at 1.30 
p.m., and, passing the lake, I picked up on its shore a 
solitary piece of fossil-wood, the first I have met with in 
Cumberland Bay, and a piece of coal, with some red 
fragments of a hard-baked argillaceous clay. We reached 
the boat at five p.m., after a journey of about eighteen 
miles there and back. We saw scarcely any birds. 
I^hillips his party had already returned from their 
excursion, and at Club-moss Bay had slaughtered no 
less than fourteen seals, to leave them to rot, a feat 
without any justifiable object, and consequently much 
to be regretted. 

Thursday, 2^ih. — This morning, after breakfast, 
accompanied by one of my boat's-crew, I went in search 
of the rock crystals I left behind me on Monday night, 
when beset by the floods. After a search I found both 
lots, and a few more, notwithstanding the ground was 
covered with snow, and the weather thick with hail-storms, 
having to face a sharp drift. At 3.45 I visited the 
ravine where I was arrested by the torrents on Monday 
night. Here I discovered a small seam of coal or lignite. 
It crops out in two places at the bottom of a watercourse, 
where it is intersected by a trapdyke three inches 
in width. The adjacent mountain is composed of green- 
stone and amygdaloid, and about half a mile above 
the Boat Promontory. Reached the boat at 5. 15 p.m., 
had a penguin and pea-soup supper, and turned in at 
eight p.m. 

Friday, 26th. — Still stormy, with hail. Our supply of 
provisions getting short, cocoa all expended, and only 
tea and biscuit enough for breakfast. I made another 

VOL. I. G 


I 4 

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Voya^(^cs of Discovery. 

visit to the coal seam. Found it again cropping out 
on the opposite side of the watercourse, twelve feet 
across and about twenty yards up the ravine, fifty feet 
above sea level. Returned to the boat at noon. In the 
afternoon I made an excursion to the Phonolite Hill, 
north of the coal seam, and found another outcrop on the 
opposite side of the hill, where, indeed, I first discovered 
some also on the side of the watercourse, and it was a 
foot in depth and ten feet in length on the surface, the 
most beautiful specimen I have yet met with. Black and 
glossy, very bituminous, with the brittle shining fracture 
of anthracite. Direction of the scam south-east and 
north-west, and, like the first seam, which was two feet 
by twenty feet, immediately overlaid by amygdaloid and 
greenstone, a three feet wide gorge winding round a 
mass of prismatic phonolite, and led to the summit 
where the phonolite was separated from the greenstone 
by a basaltic dyke, three feet wide, running south-cast 
and north-west. A lake, 200 yards long by 150 broad, 
fills the crater-like depression on the summit, narrowing 
towards the north-east end, and widening at the 
southern extremity ; depth, three feet ; the surface in 
places covered with ice, marked with hexagonal lines. 
This lake is encircled by an irregular wall of greenstone 
from five to twenty feet in height, and empties itself 
by a watercourse and cascade down the hill on the 
south-east, descended by another of those gorges in the 
columnar clinkstone. Reached the boat at 4.15 p.m., 
through a heavy snow-storm. Had cormorant soup for 

Sniurdny, 2']tli. — Launched the boat amidst heavy 
snow, freezing sharp. Pulled along the west side of the 
bay. The hollows in the moss-covered dt^bris forming a 
talus at the base of the hills, presented a very beautiful 
appearance from the brilliant display of icicles hanging 
in large festoons in front of them. For about half an 






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If an 




















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Scudding before the gale for Cumberland Corner. 83 

hour we pulled alongside in a small creek in the rocks, 
and had our breakfast of soup and biscuit. At noon we 
made sail, and ran before a fine breeze down Cumberland 
Bay. The weather, after we had rounded Cape Cum- 
berland, looked threatening, and we attempted to beat 
up against a strong head-wind and short broken sea 
for Christmas Harbour. Between Foul Bay, however, 
and Arched Point, we shipped so much water, both over 
the bows and to leeward, as to nearly swamp the boat. 
Being up to the thwarts in water, we were compelled to 
lower the sail and bale her out ; and still further to 
lighten her and increase her buoyancy, my worthy 
colleague ventured, though reluctantly, to propose that 
my boxes of specimens should be thrown overboard as 
a sacrifice to the storm. But this was expecting too 
much from me after all the toil and risk 1 had undergone 
in collecting them, and my well-meaning, excellent 
boating companion saw himself that this would be too 
great a sacrifice on my part, and to be resorted to only 
as a last resource. So they retained their place as 
ballast at the bottom of the boat, for I felt that the time 
had not yet arrived for such an extreme measure, and so 
the result proved. 

After pulling against a short head-sea amid heavy 
squalls, without apparently gaining in the least upon the 
Arched Point, we were really drifting to leeward. At 
three p.m. we bore up when within half a mile of the 
point, and scudded under the mizzen, set forward for 
Cape Cumberland, the sky at this time looking most 
black and threatening. We had a tough pull round the 
cape against the sudden squalls, and were nearly blown 
out to sea. At last, at four p.m., we secured a berth in 
cur old corner, under the lee of the land. It being now 
low water, we could not, as before, haul the boat over the 
ledge of rocks, so after getting everything out of her, we 
moored her outside to take her chance for the night ; 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

and on the swampy, snow-clad ledge of rocks we rigged 
up a tent with the mast and sails, supported on a tri- 
angle at one end, and by the face of the cliff on the other. 
It was quite dark before we had completed all our 
arrangements for the night, after which we had some 
cold preserved meat and biscuit for supper, and turned 
into our blanket-bags, which were as wet as our 

Having got the stove within the tent and arranged the 
lately all but doomed specimen-boxes as pillows, we 
were nearly driven out by the smoke from the stove, and 
when the fire was allowed to go out the snow it had 
melted froze again from the severity of the intense cold. 
In the morning, when attempting to rise, I found my 
outer garments frozen to the ground beneath me. The 
night-petrels on the rocks above our heads did their best 
to lull us into slumber by their melancholy moaning, kept 
up through the greater part of the night. 

Sunday, 2%th. — Rose at 7.45 a.m. and struck the tent, 
getting everything into the boat, and took our final 
departure from Cumberland Corner at 8.45, having a 
moderate breeze and smooth water. Nearly all our pro- 
visions were exhausted ; the tea, cocoa, flour, and some 
other articles had been out for several days, and the last 
of the grog, the sailor's comfort, was served out to the 
boat's-crew this morning ; forty-eight hours of preserved 
meat alone remained ; so that had we been longer 
weather-bound, we had intended making an overland 
journey to the ships. However, we now pulled round 
Arched Point, and got on hodxdihe Erebus ^i 10.30 a.m. ; 
found Captain Ross and the ship's company at divine 
service, and, as soon as it was concluded. Captain Ross 
shook me heartily by the hand, and seemed to be very 
glad we had returned. 

I had scarcely got through the very essential ordeal of 
a shave and entire change of things, after nearly a fort- 


Excnrsicns to Arched Point Bay and Cape Francois. 85 

night's absence without either, when the White Bay 
party's boats were reported in sight, and at 1.30 p.m. 
arrived. They had left the ship two days after us. 

When our coals fell short in the boat we cooked our 
meals with the island coal I discovered in South Bay, 
which burnt remarkably well, so that we should not have 
been at any straits for fuel, and my gun would have 
furnished us amply with game, to which the native cab- 
bage added an excellent antiscorbutic vegetable very 
palatable. The groceries we should have missed the 

Wednesday, July \st. — Blowing weather, since my 
return, preventing conununication with the shore, I 
employed myself in arranging and stowing away my 
specimens of natural history. 

Thursday, 2nd. — I landed in the gig and crossed the 
isthmus to the lakes, shot a brace each of teal and 

Friday, '^rd. — At 8.30 a.m. the whale-boat landed me 
at the corner of Arched Point Bay ; when about the 
centre of the bay a seam of very fair coal, of course, like 
all found cropping out in the igneous rock-formation of 
this island, of lignite origin. It occurs here four feet and 
upwards in thickness, forty feet in length near the sur- 
face, and about thirty feet above the level of the sea. 
Above the coal, just within reach of my geological 
hammer; a fossil-tree is imbedded in a vertical position, 
in the face of the perpendicular cliff of greenstone, which 
rises to 600 feet above it. After collecting a few plants, 
and having shot three chionis and a shag, I returned on 
board in the gig at five p.m., amid heavy squalls and 
large quantities of ice falling from the cliffs. 

Siiturday, \th, 8.30 a.m. — Left the ship on an excur- 
sion round Cape Fran5ois ; following the line of beach 
over the rocks was a toilsome journey, rendered still 
more so by my having to face a sharp, cutting snow- 

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Voyages of Discovery. 



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!' I 

drift during the heavy squalls that were blowing. About 
the middle of the bay is a cave, hollowed out of a bed of 
shale, to the extent of twenty feet in depth and twelve in 
height, the entrance to it about thirty feet in width. A 
thin vein of coal only a few inches in thickness underlies 
the shale. It may also be seen on either side of the cave, 
where the rocks have been undermined. A number of 
gulls were assembled in the bay, feasting on the remains 
of a seal and some dead penguins. Of the latter bird I 
did not meet with a living one throughout my excursion. 
I shot two large petrel {Proccllana gigantea), two black- 
backed gulls, and two shags. At the base of Cape 
Francois is a perfect chaos of rock-fragments and black 
ledges of rock jutting out, on which a heavy surf 
was breaking. About noon I began my return at a deep 
cleft or chasm, and reached the observatory at 3.30 p.m., 
where I found Captains Ross and Crozier at dinner, and 
joined them. 

Sui/day, ^tJi. — Captain Ross came on board and per- 
formed divine service, and at four p.m. both captains and 
the gun-room officers of the Erebus dined with the gun- 
room officers of the Terror. We had an excellent dinner 
for this land of desolation, and excellent cabbage, with 
fish, soup, boiled mutton, and roast pork, pastry, &c. 

Monday, 13///. — The weather having been so unfavour- 
able, blowing and raining for the last few days, I had 
only landed twice for a short time, but employed my 
time in skinning birds, laying out plants, and packing the 
large fossil tree in a box the carpenter had made for it, 
accompanying it with a full description in writing. At 
eleven a.m. I landed, but the weather being so threaten- 
ing, with a heavy surf breaking on the beach, throughout 
the morning, I did not venture out of sight of the 
Terror's boat, employed getting her observatory on 
board, and it was fortunate for me that I did not, or I 
should have had to remain on shore all night, and alone. 

Last Visit to the shore and search for Night Petrel. 87 

as her people with the tents were all taken on board 
in the last boat, which I got a passage in after run- 
ning down to the beach just as she was about shoving 
off, shooting a tern which was attempting to make 
headway against the squalls as it flew over my head 
on my way down to the boat. I had been digging 
with a shovel for the night-petrel through the holes 
made by them in the ridge above the beach, but did not 
succeed in finding any. The snow on the ground had 
drifted in wreaths, into which I sank to the top of 
my boots at every step. Soon after I got on board a 
heavy gale came on. 

Wednesday, July \$th. — At nine a.m. I landed here 
for the last time, for the purpose of searching the burrows 
of the night-petrel for specimens, as we intend putting 
to sea so soon as the weather will permit. To-day much 
of the snow was melted by the rains ol last night. On 
first landing, I shot a seal by discharging both barrels, 
with only small shot, at his head, near the stream which 
enters the bay at the south end of the beach ; and Cap- 
tain Ross sent one of his gig's crew to secure the skin. 
I afterwards occupied myself for above three hours, till 
1.30 p.m., in digging on the ridges just above the beach, 
opening several holes, where marks of the impression of 
feet, droppings, and feathers, indicated the presence of 
birds ; but found them all empty, with the exception of a 
small, soft-shelled, rotten egg of a white colour in two 
of the holes. However, on descending a little down the 
ridges, 1 at last succeeded in unroofing four very fine 
specimens from two holes in a greenbank, the entrances 
to which bore no marks of there being birds within. I 
dug out the first pair at noon, and shortly afterwards 
another pair from a hole just beneath the first. Its 
narrow entrance was partially concealed by the stalk of 
a cabbage growing in front of it. I first ascertained the 
presence of the birds by sounding with the ramiod of 



I'i'fi ' 

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yoya^es of Discovery. 


my gun, which caused them to move and utter a low 
note. The burrow, for the bird is evidently the architect 
of its own dwelling, is about three feet in length, gene- 
rally winding to the left, and ending in a circular dome, 
six inches high and eighteen inches in diameter. In the 
centre of this is a slightly raised mound of soil, strewed 
over with a green leaf or two of the tufted plant which 
so generally forms a carpet to the soil here, and a blade 
or two of grass. On this little ottoman sits the bird 
itself, and in both holes they sit apart from each other, 
on either edge of the mount opposite. What instinct, 
nay, wonderful design, do these little CiCatures exhibit in 
their system of drainage, by the construction of a canal 
two inches deep and the same in breadth, on an incline, 
for letting off the water. No skilled artificer could have 
surpassed them, for whatever the floods may be around 
them, here they reposed in dryness and comfort. Whilst 
I was digging above their heads not a sound escaped 
them, silent as the grave till they were touched, and on 
being handled, uttered a sharp, shrill cry, emptying their 
stomachs at the same time, the contents of which were 
the remains of crustaceae, and the beak of a small cuttle- 
fish was thrown up from one of them. The bird has a 
broad, flat head, and, like most nocturnal birds, very large, 
full, dark eyes, a deep brown approaching to black ; the 
plumage is of a sooty black. On returning to the beach 
I found Captain Ross busily employed in superintending 
the pulling down of the observatory. 

Being desirous of adding a specimen or two more of 
that highly interesting white bird, the chionis, to my 
collection, I rambled for about half a mile along the 
rocky ddbris at the water's edge, where they seek their 
pelagic food amongst the seaweed on the south side of 
the bay. But so scarce have they become from the long 
presence here of the ships, that I only met with one, 
which I shot, and brought on board, with a few specimens 

Farewell to the Island. 


of seaweed, the conglomerate rock, with limpets, and the 
native cabbage; getting on board at 4.30 p.m., when it 
came on to blow and rain soon afterwards. In the 
evening I laid out my seaweed. 

Thursday ^ \6th. — Blowing too hard to-day to unmoor 
ship, a boat was sent on shore with an inscription in 
copper case, to be deposited on the site of the observa- 
tory, as a memorial of our visit to the island. 

Boat Refuge, Cumberland Corner. {See page 84). 


Arched Rock, Christmas Harbour. {See pa^^c c)2.) 





Geological resume of Kerguelen's Island. 

VlFAVED geologically, this and the island of Spitzbergen, 
in the opposite hemisphere, are the two most deeply 
interesting and remarkable islands on the face of the 
globe, and the least known. 

Kerguelen's, isolated amid the vast southern ocean, 
in lat. 50°, and long. 69°, was first discovered by 
M. de Kerguelen, a lieutenant in the French navy, in 
the year 1772; and subsequently our own renowned 
navigator, Captain James Cook, was the first to anchor 
his ships in Christmas Harbour, and give to the land the 
name of Desolation Island. Christmas Harbour is in 
somewhat the shape of a foot, and named after the 
French frigate, Baie de rOiseau. 

The island is entirely of volcanic formation, upheaved 
from the bed of the ocean, most probably during the 
tertiary epoch. Ancient forests have been entombed 
within the lava currents which once flowed from sub- 
marine craters long extinct. The silicified trunks of 

Geological Rhum^ of Kcrguckn's Land. 


trees, lignites, beds of anthracite, and coal, so abundantly 
embedded in the basaltic rocks, amply testify ; where, 
now, not a vestige of aqueous formations occurs, and 
neither tree nor shrub are to be found, the native cabbage 
{Priiiglca aiiliscorhutica), about two feet in height, being 
the largest plant existing on the island. Yet these fossil- 
trees, chiefly of the coniferae, remain as monuments of 
their past existence in a land long ago submerged, to be 
again upheaved by some subsequent disturbance of the 
bed of the ocean. The trunks of the trees being subjected 
to great pressure beneath a body of water, and in the 
process of slow-cooling, would become infiltrated with 
the silex in solution ; also, under the slow-cooling of the 
submarine lava streams, the beautiful, crystalline, drusy 
cavities in the rocks, and prismatic structure would take 
place whilst shrinking in the melted state; and the 
characteristic formation of the schistose trachyte, forming 
those phonolite domes, upheaved between the greenstone 
ranges in Cumberland Bay, have arisen under the ex- 
pansive force of the elastic vapours. The red marking 
in the foliaceous phonolite is owing to oxide of iron. 

The general aspect of the island is picturesque in the 
extreme. The trappean terraces, rising one above the 
other, studded here and there with a conical, crateriform 
hill, rising above all ; the coast-line, intersected by bays 
and creeks throughout, leaving only very narrow isth- 
muses between one coast and the other. Small lakes 
are scattered over the surface of the valleys, and count- 
less waterfalls or cascades rush in torrents down the 
steep and precipitous black basaltic cliffs, their white 
foam in striking contrast with the black surface of tfie 
lava. Cumberland Bay contains some excellent com- 
modious harbours, affording safe anchorage to ships or 
boats ; its shores much diversified by the many smooth- 
looking, cone-shaped hills, from three to four hundred 
feet high, of phonolite or clinkstone, both prismatic and 

> i i 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

foliated in structure, so characteristic of the trachytic 
formation, the light-yellowish colour of these rounded 
cones appearing in striking contrast with the dark shade 
of the greenstone ranges between which they emerge. 
Some of the fragments I collected were singularly marked 
with concentric circles of red oxide of iron. One beau- 
tiful specimen, in particular, so resembled a bright red 
seaweed occurring on the shores of the bay, both in 
colour and the delicate tracery of its form, that 
Captain Ross, to whom I showed it, could scarcely 
believe that it was not the fossil-weed itself, preserved 
in foliaceous sandstone, which, indeed, it very much 

Christmas Harbour, the northernmost and finest bay 
between Cape Francois and the Arched Point, is about 
a mile in breadth at its entrance, bounded on either side 
by trappean terraces one above the other. Table Mount, 
having a crateriform summit, filled by a lake, is the 
highest hill, altaining_an altitude of above 1200 feet on 
the north side of the bay ; whilst, on the south side of 
the harbour, a vast block of black basalt, some 400 feet 
in thickness, rests upon a greenstone ridge of 600 feet, 
the whole attaining an altitude of 1000 feet above the 
harbour, a horizontal bed of shale, six feet thick, dividing 

It was here that I discovered the first specimen of the 
fossil-wood, when ascending the mount on the day after 
anchoring in the harbour, and subsequently the trunk of 
the large silicified tree, seven feet in circumference, 
embedded in the debris beneath, with some remarkable 
specimens in the face of the Arched Rock, at the 
entrance to the bay. And in a small cove near this a 
seam of brown coal or lignite, four feet in thickness, 
and forty feet in length, crops out above the talus of 
debris, thirty feet above the bay, underlying the lava or 
basalt, which rises 500 feet above it. 

Discovery of Coal. 


This discovery of coal in so many localities of the 
island might be turned to good account as coaling- 
depots to the numerous steamers that are employed in 
our East India and Australian trade, where they might 
replenish supplies when about mid- voyage out or home, 
without having to go far out of their course in doing so. 
The seams of coal, too, for the most part occur near the 
surface. All that would be required would be to tunnel 
horizontal galleries through them. The coal, I know 
from experience, burns well, having cooked our food 
with it when away with the boats in Cumberland Bay, at 
a time when the coals brought with us from the ship had 
run out. All it wants is to be brought under the notice 
of the Government. 

The rise and fall of the tide in Christmas Harbour is 
very slight indeed, only between one and two feet. The 
climate is stormy and tempestuous in the extreme. We 
made the land, Bligh's Cap, in the month of May, amid 
fogs and squalls, and, on our departure from it, towards 
the end of July, we encountered a succession of tremen- 
dous gales in the passage to Tasmania. It is not a little 
remarkable that the general direction of the mountain 
range should have the same bearings, north-east and 
south-west, as the Tasmanian and great Australian 
mountain-dividing ranges. 

The highest land I met with when away in the boats 
up Cumberland Bay attained an altitude of 2500 feet, 
and the disintegration of the hills must be going on very 
rapidly, judging from the enormous accumulation of 
debris at their bases, forming steep slopes of talus from 
300 to 500 feet, down to the black ledges of basalt upon 
which the sea breaks along the whole weather-shore, 
which, with the numerous watercourses rushing down 
from the trappean mountain ranges above, to the carpet 
of vegetation beneath, render it an almost impassable 
bog, in which our party sank knee-deep at every step, 




Voyages of Discovery 

and then finding an inlet bounding it and all further 
progress to the westward. 

The vegetation is chiefly limited to mosses, lichens, and 
grasses, and a tufted heath-like plant, which forms quite 
an elastic covering to the soil everywhere. The native 
cabbage, an excellent esculent and antiscorbutic, formed 
a wholesome addition to our bill of fare. It is a peren- 
nial, with lateral flowering stems. The delicious teal, 
blue-winged, is, I believe, peculiar to the island, and also 
the white bird, or chionis. This species of sheathbill, too, 
is limited to this land ; the others were mostly sea-birds, 
sooty albatrosses, gigantic petrel, night-petrel, tern, shags, 
and penguins. The skua and black-backed gulls fre- 
quented the bays, seals of two or three kinds occasionally 
came into the harbour. 

When we come to reflect that, at the present time, 
not a vestige of any arborescent form of vegetation has 
existence here, we may well ask from whence came all 
the fossil-wood. A far greater extent of land must at 
some period of time have existed to account for such a 
vast accumulation of vegetable remains, altered, indeed, 
into lignites, fossil-wood, and coals, but which must once 
have constituted whole forests, and have been submerged 
long enough to convert the vegetable structure into coal 
and lignite, and silicified the wood, which would have the 
effect of enabling it to resist the heat of those subaqueous 
lava streams which poured out and overwhelmed them in 
deep water, when the zeolites in Christmas Harbour were 

At what period of our earth's history all this took 
place must necessarily be somewhat a matter of conjec- 
ture, in the absence of all sedimentary formation as 
evidence to guide us. But the brown coal and lignite, 
however, may afford us some clue, inasmuch as they 
greatly resemble the brown coal and lignite found under 


Anc2C7ii Forests of the Land. 


very similar circumstances in the newer tertiary deposits 
of continental Europe, a period of geological time 
when lava streams, submarine craters, and their charac- 
teristic lignites and fossils, so much abounded. 

The ancient forests of the land, at whatever period of 
time they may have existed, must have consisted mainly 
of conifers, from all the fossil-wood found here having the 
glandular structure, or resin-duct, peculiar to all the coni- 
ferae or pine tribe, a class of plants which, from their 
resinous composition, are so well adapted to resist the 
extremes of cold of an Arctic or Antarctic climate; 
this resin being formed by the air slowly entering into 
combination with the carbon, a non-conductor of heat, 
and from the glutinous resin not freezing but concen- 
trating all its heat within, most effectually seals up its 

Hence the power of the coniferous types — so con- 
spicuous in all the carboniferous forests of bygone ages 
— to resist the great changes and vicissitudes of tem- 
perature to which they have been subjected, and thus 
enabled to exist as a large family of trees throughout so 
many epochs in the earth's history. 

Compare the family of the lycopodiaceae of the old 
red sandstone, or Devonian epochs, such as Lcpidoden- 
dron Stci-nhci-gii, which attained the height of forty feet 
and upwards, with the small but elegant and beautiful 
species of lycopodium, or club-moss, at present existing, 
a new species of which I wvis fortunate enough to dis- 
cover living up Cumberland Bay, when away on my boat 
expedition ; a mere creeping plant, scarcely showing 
itself above the scanty surrounding herbaceous vegetation, 
and, remarkable enough, was the only specimen found 
during the stay of the expedition at the island. I picked 
it up with a small new species of fern in the same tuft, 
and never met with either again, although I directed my 



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Voyages of Discovery, 

boat's crew to keep a good look-out for any other 
straggling specimens there might be. We discovered an 
extensive bank, named after the ship, " Erebus Bank," and 
a reef, named " Terror Reef," off the island. 

Cumberland Bay and Sentry-box, with Foul Bay between the Arched Rock 
and Cumberland Point, as seen from Summit of Crater Peak. 


1: .- ) 

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Crater Peak, Christmas Harbour. 


Our boatswain drowned — Sighting the Soutli-west Cape— Severe gales — 
Our sails blown into ribbons — Reach Tasmania — At tiic tlieatre, 
Hobart Town — A complimentary dinner — An invitation from Sir 
John Franklin, governor of the island— The firtt house built in the 
colony — Richmond — A kangaroo hunt — A horse-race — Going to 
Government House Ball under difficulties. 

Friday, July i ']th. — Unmoored after breakfast ; but the 
weather again coming on thick and threatening, we 
remained at single anchor. 1 finished arranging and 
packing my birds of the island, some half-hundred, and 
took a sketch of the foss'l-^vood rock of basalt. 

Saturday, iSf/i. — Still detained by boisterous weather. 

Monday, 20///. — We got under weigh early this morn- 
ing, sailing out of the harbour at eight a.m., and took our 
iinal leave of Kerguelen's Land ; Terror \\xst ahead of us. 
I took a sketch of the Crater Hill as we passed out. 
Sky very lowering and threatening, with a rapidly-flying 
scud, the land soon becoming concealed in thick gloom. 

Vwl,. I. II 


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Voyages of Discovery. 


Both ships under double-reefed top-sails, storm stay-sail, 
and jib, going about six knots. Shipped a sea or two 
and made all snug for the night by close-reefing the top- 
sails. As we passed out of the harbour I noticed that 
four ridges superimposed the coal-seam forming the 
•.jinmit of the cliff ; these ridges, both at Cape Franfois 
and Arched Point, dipping to the north at an angle 
of 15°. 

Wednesday, 2gth. — The continued blowing weather 
we have experienced since leaving the harbour increased 
<r> JL heavy gale from the westward this evening, before 
in'hicli we scudded under close-reefed fore and main-top- 

Havifif"* s'!en nothing of the Terror since last evening 
:.!" se'^en o • > .v, when she was some seven miles off, we 
had c iay-tc .^- f>r' from eight a.m., and did not bear up 
until 3.30 p.m. 

Thursday y yith. — At 2.40 p.m. we met with a sad loss 
in our boatswain, Mr. Roberts, who, whilst employed with 
two men near the lee-gangway on the port side, was struck 
by the staysail sheet, and whirled overboard by a sudden 
lurch the ship took at the time. The life-buoy was im- 
mediately let go, and several oars thrown overboard, both 
quarter-boats — the first and second cutters — were lowered 
as soon as the way in which they had been secured against 
the bad weather of late would permit of ; but unhappily 
too late, poor fellow, to save him. I happened to be 
walking the quarter-deck when the melancholy accident 
occurred, and saw the whole affair. He swam very 
strongly and high out of the water for some time, but the 
ship having been going through the water at the rate of 
six knots at the time, he was rapidly dropped astern before 
she could be hove-to. The last I saw of him was as he rose 
on the top of a wave, where a gigantic petrel or two were 
whirling over his head, and might have struck him with 
their powerful wings or no less powerful beak, for he dis- 

Shipping Heavy Seas. 


appeared all at once between two seas. Our first boat 
returned, having picked up his hat and one of the men's 
caps. The other boat, sent to pick up the life-buoy, was 
near losing two hands, a sea having struck her and 
washed two of the crew overboard, but they succeeded in 
regaining the boat again. It was 4.20 p.m. before the 
boats were, at a great risk, secured again. 

Wednesday, August 12th. — At nine a.m. saw the land 
to windward on the port bow. South-West Cape, being 
seven or eight leagues distant, appeared very indistinctly 
through the haze, and a bank of clouds in the horizon in 
the form of a line of hummocks, Hobart Town being dead 
to windward. Yesterday my Httle tortoise from St. Helena 
I found in the morning dead on the floor of my cabin. From 
Kerguelen's Land to Van Diemen's Land, a distance of 
between 3000 and 4000 miles, we had a succession of 
heavy gales and boisterous weather, shipping heavy, green 
seas, in which the ship rolled tremendously, getting her 
decks flooded, accompanied by smart hail-storms, some of 
the hailstones measuring half an inch in diameter. 

The Southern Cross now appears in a reversed position, 
having the " pointers " above. The last remaining goose 
was killed the other day. This afternoon, coming on to 
blow hard, the ship was hove-to, with her head to the 
southward and westward ; and before the evening closed 
in the gale increased to a perfect hurricane, which, with 
the mountainous sea running, raising the foam and spray 
from the surface, drove like mist or smoke, obscuring 
everything ahead of us ; the barometer, rising and falling 
rapidly, only a little above 28° at the highest. Whilst I 
was on deck, from seven to 8.30 p.m., we shipped some 
very heavy seas ; one vast, swelling, green mountain of a 
sea came rolling up astern, threatening to engulf us, 
sweeping over the starboard quarter-boat, in upon the 
quarter-deck, which it deluged, drenching me to the skin, 
as I clung to the mizen-mast, catching hold of some gear 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


to avoid being washed overboard, for as she surged 
everything on deck found its way into the lee-scuppers or 
overboard. The sails were taken in with great difficulty, 
till we were reduced to a close-reefed main-topsail. When 
about eight p.m., in the height of all the fury of the blast, 
the main-topsail sheet was blown away, and the sail shivered 
into ribbons, the battered, torn fragments flapping in the 
wind with a sharp, snapping sound, like the report of 
so many pistols. A new main-staysail — the only sail left 
on the ship — soon shared the same fate, leaving us 
under bare poles ; in such a tempest not a stitch of 
canvas had a chance even of standing against it. The 
night was moonlight, and the scud was flying rapidly over 
the surface of the pale orb. Captain Ross maintained his 
position on the weather-quarter by having three turns of 
the mizen-topsail halyards round him for support. 
Towards the close of the first watch the gale began 
somewhat to abate, but still blew hard throughout the 
night. On the following morning a very heavy sea was 
running, but there was less wind. We had the hatches 
battened down all day, with lighted candles in the gun- 

Monday^ August \']th, 1840. — Yesterday we made the 
land to windward, working up Storm Bay, but could 
not fetch into Adventure Bay. In the evening saw the 
Iron-Pot Lighthouse, and after firing guns for a pilot, 
anchored about midnight some four miles below the light- 
house ; and this morning at 9.30 we weighed anchor, 
and with squally weather worked up the Derwent. About 
noon we hoisted the Jack and fired guns for a pilot. 
At 12.30 the pilot came on board ; we passed to the left 
of the Iron-Pot Lighthouse, a square tower on a small, 
barren, sandy rock. Betsy Island to the right, covered 
with wood. The banks, both of Storm Bay and the 
River Derwent, are densely clothed with wood, but the 
colour of the foliage being of one uniform dull green, 

Arrival at Hobart Toxvn, Tasmania 


with the absence of the varied tints of light and shade, 
gives to the whole landscape a monotonous aspect, not- 
withstanding the richness, and even luxuriance of the 
vegetation. The gum-tree and other forms of eucalyptus, 
so prevalent here, shed their bark, instead of their leaves, 
the latter appearing with the under-surface upwards, or 
with the leaves occurring transversely, one above the 
other. The lofty white, barkless t^unk of the gum- 
tree, shining like the silvery stem of a birch through the 
dense foliage somewhat relieves the otherwise sombre 
appearance of Australian forests in the distance. The 
entrance to Storm Bay is between Tasman's Head and 
Cape Raoul, these headlands being about thirty miles 
apart. The breadth of the bay where the Derwent begins 
is about twelve miles across, and the river is six miles 
wide at its entrance from the lighthouse, from which 
Hobart Town is twelve miles distant. The course of 
the Derwent is about N.W., averaging from two to five 
miles across as it approaches the town. 

On the port-side we passed in succession several 
beautiful glades in the woods, shelving down to the 
water's edge, with pretty farmsteads surrounded by highly 
cultivated patches. One villa-like residence especially, 
and evidently of recent erection, made its appearance 
some four or five miles from Hobart Town, between 
which lies an excellent road. The young corn looked 
everywhere very green and promising. The wind failing 
us at 5.15 p.m., we came to an anchor in twelve and a 
half fathoms, off Fort Mulgrave. The approach to 
Hobart Town is very picturesque, the houses appearing 
thickly scattered amongst trees and green slopes, on the 
sides of undulating hills studded here and there with a 
windmill. We found that our consort the Terror had 
arrived at ten p.m. on Saturday ; her captain and 
several of her officers came on board, bringing us letters. 
Several of us went on shore to the theatre, it being the 


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last night of the performance for the season. The play 
was " Rory O'More," and the afterpiece "The Irish 
Tutor." It concluded at 12.30 p.m., and we returned 
on board in the guard-boat. 

Tuesday, \%th. — Weather very fine, the ships were 
warped alongside of the Government paddock, and 
moored in from five to seven fathoms. Having answered 
a letter from Sir William Hooker, in reference to his 
son's (Dr. Joseph Hooker, the assistant-surgeon) state 
of health and fitness for the arduous service he had 
embarked in, I went at noon on board the Australian 
packet-ship getting under way for Sydney. Afterwards 
several officers of the 51st Regiment quartered here 
came on board of us, and amongst them, our old acquaint- 
ance, Captain Foreman, whom we had met at Chatham. 
At 3 p.m. I landed at the dockyard, and also called at 
the Colonial Hospital ; then, after taking a stroll round 
the town, returned on board in a pilot-boat at six p.m. 
Saw in the United Service Gazette the report of the 
Commission on the new Medical Regulations for the 

Wednesday, \gt/i. — Dr. James Wingate Johnstone, of 
the Asia, convict-ship, came on board, and several 
officers of the 51st Regiment. It was a beautiful day, 
and at six p.m. we left the ship, to dine at the mess of 
the 51st, to which the captains and officers of both ships 
had received invitation ; with three or four civilians from 
the shore, we made up a party of thirty-five. I fell into 
a seat on the left of the president, Captain Foreman, and 
for the first time in my Hfe tasted kangaroo soup and 
the bronze-winged pigeon of the island. The major gave 
a toast, accompanied by a complimentary speech in 
honour of the expedition, which was replied to by Captain 

Friday, 20th. — Mr. Anstey, a barrister of Hobart 
Town, came on board, and invited me to dine with him 

First Visit to Risdon. 


on the following day, at 6.30 p.m., where I met a surgeon, 
a Mr. Bedford and his wife. Left at 10.30 p.m. and 
returned on board, having about midday lunched at 
the barracks, where I saw the eagle, tiger-cat, and kan- 
garoo of the island. 

Sunday, I'^d. — At eleven a.m. I attended divine ser- 
vice at the town church, and afterwards called at the 
Derwent Tavern, on Dr. Johnstone, who, with another 
brother officer, Peter Fisher, and Captain Foreman, after 
a stroll round Sandy Bay, dined on board with me. 

Monday, 2\th. — Dr. Clarke, the Inspector-General of 
the Forces, with his brother-in-law and Mr. Estridge, 
the traveller, lunched on board with me. I received an 
invitation card from the Governor, Sir John Franklin, to 
dine at Government House to-day, at 6.30 p.m. Twenty 
sat down to table. I was introduced to Sir John and 
Lady Franklin by Captain Ross. At eight p.m. we ad- 
journed to the library, to hear a paper read by the Rev. 
Mr. Lillie, it being the night of the meeting of the 
Tasmanian Natural History Society, which takes place 
on alternate Mondays. 

Tuesday, i^th. — After breakfast. Captain Foreman 
called alongside for me in his boat, for a trip up the river 
to Risdon, about four miles distant ; Hooker, the assisi:ant- 
surgeon of the Erebus, accompanied us ; the weather 
fine. On our way up the river, Mr. Gregson, the gentle- 
man we were to visit, was riding on the left bank for 
Hobart Town. We landed, and I was introduced to him, 
who subsequently became one of my most valued friends. 
He had been one of the guests at the dinner given to 
us by the mess of the 51st. Captain Foreman having 
introduced me to Gregson, he continued his journey on 
to Hobart Town, and we ours to the ferry at Risdon, 
where we landed and walked on to the house, about a 
mile from the ferry, most picturesquely situated on a 
rising knoll, embosomed in trees, and perfectly isolated, 



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Voyaocs of Discovery. 




approached by a winding road skirting the creek, where 
his boat is kept, for most part of the way having a 
thickly-wooded hill on the right, upon a foundation of 
argillaceous rock. After partaking of some refreshment 
with the family of our newly-made friends, we took a 
ramble round the grounds, and in company with our 
host's eldest son, John, I shot several small birds for 
the ornithological collection, with Foreman's gun, not 
having my own with me at the time. We returned to 
the house just before dinner-time. 

Wediics(fny, 26t/i. — We did not retire to rest till one 
o'clock this morning. I arose at eight a.m. and strolled 
to the bottom of the garden, sketched the old ruins of 
the first house ever built on the island, by its first 
governor. Colonel Collins. For it was on this spot the 
first colonists established themselves, attracted to it by 
the fine stream of fresh water running near. It now 
forms the summer-house of the family, and the hives for 
their bees. After breakfast my host's eldest son accom- 
panied me in the ascent of Mount Direction, a remarkable 
hill, forming a very conspicuous object, as seen from the 
ship, bounding the curve of the river in the distance. 
We made our way up its steep sides, through woods of 
gum-trees, and the black and silver wattles ; many of 
the trees appeared much blackened and charred near 
the base, and on the summit withered trunks and 
branches were strewed about ; a rude signal-post, or 
what had originally been intended for one, crowns the 
highest peak. From this spot I had a fine view of the 
windings of the Derwent below, with its many little points 
and promontories jutting into the stream on either side. 
The New Norfolk steamer was passing at the time ; the 
day was fine, and so warm that I perspired from every 
pore. Saw several paroquets, and shot two blue titmice 
and a lark returning. 

In the afternoon we started for the township of Rich- 


KatK^aroo Hunt and Jiall at Government House. 105 

niond, nine miles distant, in Grcjijson's car, alon*; a beau- 
tiful and picturesque road called the Siinplon, forming 
magnificent curves and deeply-wooded glens ; these, 
again, backed by hills densely clothed with gum-trees to 
the summits. At about half-way on the left is Grass-tree 
Hill, on which are two or three huts, forming the quarters 
of an officer and his party stationed there. Dined at 
Mr. Breton's, the police magistrate of Richmond, a 
half-pay lieutenant in the navy. He showed me his 
collection of fossils and other productions of the island. 
Here I met the first lieutenant and surgeon of the Terror. 
We slept at the Lennox Arms Hotel. 

Thursday, 2'jtli. — Rose at eight a.m., and walked 
round the township, up a hill by the small coal-river, 
where the coal has been worked ; - ^turned to the inn 
for breakfast ; when Hooker and myself drove in Greg- 
son's carriage to Grass-tree Hill "to see a kangaroo hunt, 
with Gregson's pack of hounds. Found him there on 
horseback, accompanied by ( 'lonel Elliott, of the 51st 
Regiment. The weather was fine, and two kangaroos 
were started. I saw one of them leap across the road 
at some distance, followed by the barking and yelping 
dogs ; they, however, gave the dogs a long run, taking 
the hill side into the dense woods ; both were soon out 
of sight and hearing. We learnt subsequently that one 
had been killed some miles off by the dogs. About noon 
we returned to Richmond, and at one started for the 
lacc-course, to see a match between " Randolph " and 
" Waterloo," two celebrated horses here. The latter 
ran away with his rider, and actually went four times 
round the course before he could haul him in, and then 
darted into the woods, but fortunately without injury 
either to horse or man. Lunched at Lieutenant Breton's 
with Colonel Elliott and several other officers, and some 
gentlemen of the neighbourhood. When on the race- 
ground, the weather was showery. Amongst the number 



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of country people present, one young girl in a riding- 
habit, having the appearance of a yeoman's daughter, was 
thrown from her horse, but regained her saddle instanter, 
as if nothing had happened, so coolly was it done. About 
five p.m. we left the inn with Mr. Gregson, for Risdon, and 
after dining there, I very reluctantly left a most agreeable, 
pleasant party to pull four miles in Gregson's boat, against 
a head-wind and beating rain, in a dark, tempestuous 
night, to attend a ball at Government House, given by 
Sir John Franklin in honour of the arrival of the Antarctic 
Expedition, from which, of course, there could be no 
excuse for my absence. At 8.30 p.m. young Gregson 
accompanied me to the top of the creek, where his boat 
was ready to receive me, with two hands. Soon after I 
had embarked, the creek being narrow, about half a mile 
in length, we took the ground in the mud on the port 
side, but soon got her afloat again. It was pitch dark, 
and on getting clear of the creek, the wind shifting, blew 
up the river in our teeth, so that we did not get alongside 
the Ercbtis before 10.30 p.m., first making for the Terror 
by mistake, in the cimmerian darkness of the night. 
Having changed my dress for full uniform, I got on 
board, and landed again at 1 1.15 p.m. 

I entered the ball-room at a much later hour than I 
had anticipated when I left Risdon, it being exactly mid- 
night. Sir John Franklin and his aide-de-camp received 
me very kindly at the ball-room door, and Captain Ross, 
coming up to me, offered to get me a partner in the 
dance, a waltz then going on, which I declined, as I do 
not dance. Many of the company had already left, and 
carriages were in waiting at the door. The night proving 
so unfavourable, there were many absentees. I left at 
two a.m., and slept at the Derwent Hotel. In the ball- 
room I received two invitations ; one from the solicitor- 
general, and the other from the commissary-general. 

Sunday, 30///. — I attended morning service at the 



Ejubarkation of Natural History Specimens. io7 

town church, and made a call at the barracks ; met the 
solicitor-general there, from whom I received an invitation 
to dine this evening, to meet Captain Foreman and 
another military captain. 

Monday, 31^/. — Dined at the military mess with the 
assistant-surgeon of the regiment ; after which we all 
attended a concert held in the theatre. 

Tuesday, September \st. — Called on Anstey, the soli- 
citor-general, and Dr. Clark ; from the latter I received 
an invitation to dine with him at the mess. Visited the 
Union Club. Received a note from Lieutenant Breton 
with a parcel of birds' skins from Richmond, and a 
message from Captain Ross, to get ready the specimens 
of natural history for embarkation on board a ship for 
England via Sydney. 

Wednesday, 2nd. — I was employed arranging the 
specimens in Captain Ross's cabin, and had several 
visitors ; the Rev. Mr. Lillie, Lieutenant Breton, and 
Captain Foreman ; all of whom dined on board with me, 
and J asked Dr. Hooker to meet them. Mr. Anstey and 
a naval lieutenant also formed part of our dinner-party. 

Thursday, ^^rd. — Employed all day packing specimens 
and writing descriptions of them, till 6.30 p.m., when I 
dined at the military mess. 

Monday, ^th. — At seven p.m. I dined at Government 
House, fourteen sitting down to table ; Sir John Franklin 
in the centre of the table, between Captain Ross and 
myself. On adjourning to the library a paper on the 
geological structure of a hill on the island was read by 
Mr. Lillie ; another on New Zealand by Mr. Estridge. 

Monday, 21st. — Dined at Sir John Franklin's. Twenty 
guests present. At eleven p.m. three papers were read 
at the Natural History Society's Meeting. 

Saturday, October 2,rd. — At three p.m. Lady Franklin, 
accompanied by her niece, Miss Cracroft, and her 
daughter and governess, visited the ship, escorted by 

' il . 


Voyages of Discoveiy. 


t p-i 

the two captains, calling alongside the Terror on their 

Monday, e^th. — Dined at Sir John Franklin's. Met 
Lieutenant Breton at table, and afterwards I read a 
paper on the geology of Kerguelen's Land at the Natural 
History Society's Meeting. 

Tuesday, 6th. — Judge Montagu came on board to 
kindly offer me a seat in his carriage, with another for 
my friend and boating companion. Lieutenant Phillips, 
on a drive across the island to Launceston, as he was 
about attending the assizes. 




Fossil-tree, Macquarie Plains. {Sec pa (^^c 119.) 

•f il 

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A drive across tlie island to Launcestoii — Over Jordan and through 
Jericho— Tlie Valeof Jerusalem — Campbell Town— Epping Forest 
— Ornithological specimens— Excursion down the Tamar to George 
Town— Return on horseback — Convicts on a sheep farm — A fossil- 

Sunday, October wtli. — At seven a.m. I went on board 
the Teryo)' for my old friend, Lieutenant Phillips, and, 
after breakfasting with him, we landed at the Paddock, 
and at the old wharf Judge Montagu's carriage, with a 
pair of greys, was coming down the hill from his house. 
The morning was fine, with a fresh breeze. 

At eleven miles from HobartTown passed the " Black 
Snake Inn," next over a causeway, and across Bridge- 
water Ferry ; a limestone quarry at the causeway dips 
at an angle of 15° to the south-east. "Castle Inn" 
stands on the left. Passed by Brighton and the River 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

Jordan, a narrow stream, at 11.15 a.m. We made our 
first resting-place at " Maule's Inn," where we lunched 
on some cold turkey. At the plains of Bagdad, seven- 
teen miles from Hobart Town, we called on Lieutenant 
Foster, R.N., the police magistrate, living in a newly- 
built residence, Green Ponds. At twenty-seven miles 
we alighted, and walked over Constitution Hill, on the 
left of which is a thickly-wooded glen, and on the 
right a bed of sandstone dipping at an angle of 15° to 
the north-west. The road forms a fine sweep round 
the glen below, strikingly resembling the Simplon at 
Richmond, passing through trappean rocks. On re- 
entering the carriage, we crossed the plain of Green 
Ponds. Here is the oldest inn in the colony, called the 
" Royal Oak," where I had a glass of Hobart Town ale 
handed me by a very pretty landlady. At thirty miles 
passed Cross Marsh, having a number of cattle feeding 
in a good pasturage. Mount Vernon, the residence of 
Mr. Kemp, appears at some distance to the left of the 
road, embosomed in woods and pasture-lands. We next 
passed through a rich and fertile tract, well named 
Lovely Banks, from the beautiful, soft landscape of green 
pasturage, studded over with lightly-wooded knolls and 
sloping banks clothed with shrubs and trees. At present 
" Lovely Banks Inn " is not anything more than a dilapi- 
dated, deserted, old house, on the left side of the road. 
Thirty-six miles from Hobart Town at 4.15 p.m., we 
took up our quarters for the night at the " London Inn." 
Spring Hill, four miles farther on ; I walked through the 
garden at the back of the house, up the hill, the summit 
of which was composed of trappean rocks. We had 
kangaroo cutlets for tea, and I afterwards looked for 
opossums by moonlight up the hill, turning in at 
10.30 p.m. 

Monday, 12///. — Resumed our journey at five a.m. 
Mr. McDowall, the attorney-general, whom we met at the 


\i i 

T/ie Vale of Jertisalem. 


inn last night, is going the same road as ourselves, to 
attend the assizes at Launceston. Half a mile from 
" Spring Hill Inn," and about half a mile to the left of 
the road, is a deep gulley, at the extremity of which 
stands a small hut, in which a horrible murder was com- 
mitted by the natives a few years ago. Two miles 
farther on we passed Jericho, about a mile to the left of 
which stands an estate forming a group of buildings at 
the base of the hills, which had belonged to my friend, 
Mr. Gregson. Near the road is the church ; and to the 
right the Vale of Jerusalem appeared flat, and studded 
with clumps of wood, bearing a striking resemblance in 
its general aspect to some parks of Somersetshire. On 
Fourteen Tree Plain I saw a great number of parrots 
and black and white magpies. The charred stumps and 
fallen trees, with withered, standing ones, presented a 
desolate scene, flanking a part of the road to the right. 
Forty-three miles from Hobart Town is Lemon Springs, 
and Anstey Barton, the residence of Barrister Anstey's 
father, lying amongst woods to the left. I saw the sum- 
mit of Table Mountain, bearing north-west. At Oatlands, 
fifty miles, we breakfasted at the " Oatlands Inn," and 
there are four others in the township, which is situated 
on a plain. Whilst breakfast was getting ready, I strolled 
over the marsh, which is some miles in circumference, a 
complete mud-level, having the appearance of a drained 
lake in a sandstone formation. At 8.15 a.m. we started. 
The face of the country has now undergoi.e a change. 
Instead of the hilly, rugged, trappean rock formation, we 
come upon undulating, sandstone slopes, on which large 
flocks of sheep were grazing. From Antills, fifty-three 
miles, the road to Tunbridge lies through beautiful, park- 
like plains, glowing with the golden-yellow hue of the 
wattle blossom, a beautiful shrub, very abundantly 
distributed here. Gorze, or furze- bloom, even rivals 
the wattle in the richness and depth of its yellow 


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Voyages of Discovery. 




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colour, scenting the atmosphere all round with its sweet 

On the left side of the road, a few miles from Tun- 
bridge, Mr. Harrison's elegant-looking villa, with its 
verandahs and doorways entwined in flowers and ever- 
greens, the whole emSosomed in its gardens well stocked 
with shrubs, and backed by densely-wooded hills, have a 
most striking effect. The yellow wattle flourishes here 
in the richest luxuriance, numerous flocks of sheep 
feeding on the green pastures. Saltpan Lakes lay to the 
right of us. At 10.15 'i-"^- ^'^^^ t^*^ mountain called 
Quamby's Bluff, bearing north-west from the inn, beyond 
which lie some plains. In passing through the small 
township of Ross, we crossed a bridge over the river. 
Just beyond this is a Mr. Horn's estate, whose son was 
barbarously murdered by the natives some time ago. 
Between Ross and Campbell Town is a gravelly plain 
and open valley, with a fine tiew of the mountain, Ben 
Lomond, in the distance. Here, for the first time, I saw 
two of the large gagle-hawks hovering overhead. We 
alighted at the " Fox-Hunter's Return," a comfortable 
inn in Campbell Town, seventy-six miles from Hobart 
Town. Crossed a bridge over the Macquarie River, and 
strolled through the township — a mere village. Four 
ranges of hills seen from this have a remarkable 
appearance, table-topped, and sloping to the north-east ; 
Quamby's Bluff con^-picuous. After lunching at the inn, 
we started again at 3.10 p.m. 

A sudden turn in the road brought us to Epping Forest, 
the entrance to which is striking and beautiful. An 
excellent turnpike-road, flanked on either side by lofty, 
forest trees, taking a straight course for a considerable 
distance, presents a fine, extended vista in the prospec- 
tive. But the very sameness throughout so many miles 
becomes tedious and monotonous before we get clear of 
it. I shot three magpies, three parrots, and a miner. 


Pass through Epptng Forest. 


All these birds were abundant, crossing the road in flocks. 
Near the extremity of the forest we took up our quarters 
for the night at the " Eagle," a small inn on the left side 
of the road, and the only one in the forest. We alighted 
at seven p.m., and having had tea and eggs at eight p.m. 
— it being a fine, moonlight night — I went up the hill at 
the back of the house into the dense forest, opossum 
shooting ; but, after searching the tall trees for some two 
hours for a considerable distance, I only met with one, 
which I shot as it was sitting on the stump of the stem 
of a lofty tree, to which it made an effort to cling by its 
tail on finding itself wounded, but in a few seconds, relax- 
ing its hold, it fell to the ground ; and had it not been shot 
through the head dead, I should most certainly have lost it. 

Tuesday^ I'^tli. — Passed through the township of 
Perth ; we crossed the bridge over the South Esk, and, 
approaching Launceston, Cocked-Hat Hill, so named 
from its supposed resemblance to that shaped hat ; it is 
a very conspicuous object. Launceston appeared skirt- 
ing the sides of a valley, half-concealed in a volume of 
white mist and vapour suspended over it, and filling the 
valley. We entered the town at 8.30 a.m., alighting at 
the judge's quarters. Government Cottage. I walked up 
Signal-Staff Hill, and lunched at about noon. 

We shoved off fiom the harbour in a boat manned 
by four hands. Fine weather on leaving the wharf. 
The river is formed by the junction of the North 
and South Esks, and makes a narrow curve in the 
first reach, afterwards expanding out. At five miles from 
Launceston is Pig Island, At Fresh-Water Point it 
contracts again to from half, or even a quarter, of a mile 
across ; reached this point, eight miles, at 3. 15 p.m. The 
water thus far is quite fresh ; beyond this it widens out 
to two miles, having the Nelson Shoals on the right and 
Ship Channel on the left (eleven miles). At 4.15 p.m. 
passed Cemetiere Point and the " Mermaid Inn." In 

VOL. I. I 




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Voyages of Discovery. 

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the next reach is Swan Bay, and at twenty-one miles 
Swan Point with Egg Island. Mount-Royal signal-station 
on the hill to the right very strikingly resembles Mount 
Direction on the Derwent, near Risdon. It is the half- 
way mark to George Town. At Spring Bay (twenty-four 
miles) the river again expands considerably. The recent 
clearance in the woods here, with a log hdt or two, marks 
the commencement of a new settler's life, with some 
cattle feeding. Beyond this, at thirty miles, is Whirl- 
pool Reach, which we reached at 6.15 p.m. The worst 
part of the navigation of the river, being very narrow, 
leaves bare room for ships to pass. Buoys point out the 
danger, a ledge of rocks in the centre, having a foaming 
eddy and ripple over them. After passing several other 
points and Redwood Island, we entered the last reach to 
George Town (Moriarty's), thirty-two miles, at 6.45 p.m. 
The river now opens out to one and a half miles in width, 
with Middle Island. The evening just closing in and 
getting dark before we reached our destination, little 
could be seen of our last stage in the voyage. 

The course of the Tamar is far less varied and 
interesting than the Derwent. The wooded hills, ave- 
raging 500 feet in height, present the greatest sameness 
and monotony throughout. The only birds I saw on 
the passage were four black swans, a few gulls, and 
a shag. At 8.30 p.m. we arrived at George Town, and 
passed the evening at Lieutenant Friend's, to whom 
we had an introduction; and at 11.15 piTi- took up 
our quarters for the night at Mrs. Wilson's hotel. 

Wednesday, \\th. — Strolled into the woods and shot 
two of the native cuckoos, and, after breakfasting with 
Lieutenant Friend, R.N., mounted horses and rode out to 
the lighthouse, four miles, along a rugged, very primitive 
sort of road, by the banks of the river. As we were 
approaching a gate, the horse I rode, a wild, untrained, 
and high-spirited animal, made a desperate effort to 

y/i'zo 0/ Bass's Strai/, from suniviit of LiglUhousc. \ 1 5 

run away with me, and, after nearly unhorsinj^r nu;, I had 
no small difficulty in curbing him in his headlong 
course before reaching the gate against which he ap- 
peared to be very indifferi;nt about dashing himself and 
me. We, however, reached the lighthouse on Lowhead at 
9.20 a.m. safe and sound. On ascending to the top of 
the lighthouse, which is situated on a low, sandy neck of 
land, barely three-quarters of a mile in length, we had a 
fine view of Bass's Strait, Barren Island, and the coast 
to the right and left, from the gallery outside of the 
lanthorn, consisting of fifteen lamps forming a circle in 
three divisions of five in each. The Tamaf is here three 
miles across. 

Soon after our return to George Town, Mr. Friend and 
his wife accompanied us in their own boat up to Laun- 
ceston, transferred, however, at Spring Bay to the 
harbour-master's boat, or sloop, in which we sailed to 
Launceston, with a fresh breeze, arriving at six p.m. 
We met Count Strelecki on landing, dined at the 
"Steamboat Inn" with the Friends, and slept at the 
Government Cottage. 

TImrsday, i ^th. — Breakfasted at Government Cottage, 
called on the Friends, and at "Dr. Pugh's, where we found 
Count Strelecki at breakfast. I took a stroll through 
the town ; a neat, quiet place, containing some good 
shops, an exchange and news-room, both of which I 
visited. It is a smaller and less bustling town than 
Hobart Town, but situated in the midst of a fertile country. 
Vessels lay close alongside the wharfs. Judge Montagu 
having finished the duties of his circuit, we lunched at one, 
and left Launceston on our return at two p.m. The 
morning showery, but it afterwards cleared up fine. 
Had a glass of ale at the " Perth Hotel." The bridge 
here is built entirely of greenstone. We alighted at the 
" Eagle Inn " in Epping Forest at 5.30 p.m., where I had 
a young dead kangaroo given me. 

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We arrived at the " Fox-hunter's Hotel," Campbell 
Town, at 1 1.45 p.m., where we took up our quarters for 
the night. 

Friday, xdth. — Started at 6.30 a.m., passing the late 
Dr. Pearson's estate, whieh the judge told us was for sale 
at 50,000/., and that 45,000/. had been offered for it. 
We reached Tunbridge at 8.30 a.m., the stage-coach 
passing us on the road. Breakfasted at the inn here, 
when the judge most kindly proposed to send liis carriage 
home and mount horses ourselves, and ride back by the 
lake region, thus affording us a change of route and an 
opportunity of seeing more of the country by a return 
over the Western Tiers. 

I mounted a favourite grey pony of the judge, named 
" Polly;" Phillips a large black horse, called " Cossack;" 
and Montagu himself bestrode " Comet," a very fine 
blood horse. The weather was cloudy, with a fresh 
breeze. Crossing a branch of Blackman's River, we 
shaped a westerly course, and through a wood, where a 
ilock of black cockatoos were flying heavily along, slowly 
flapping their large wings, not unlike the lopping flight of 
our own lapwing, now and then sending forth a harsh 
scream, as they changed their position from one tree to 
another. I alighted from my horse, and was tempted to 
give chase to them, in the hope of securing a specimen or 
two for the ornithological collection, but I found them far 
too wary to allow of my getting within shot of them in 
the brief space of time I could spaic to follow them up. 
On remounting my steed, I had to ride at a smart pace to 
enable me to overtake my companions, a stern chase being 
proverbially a long one. We now struck off through 
thick woods of lofty trees, and up a range of hills of con- 
siderable height, having a base of greenstone, upon which 
rested a stratum of sandstone, again capped by green- 
stone, which formed the summit, and this we reached at 
three p.m. Our fine weather seems to have deserted 

Return by the Lakes auef Western Tiers. 1 1 7 

us for thick mist and drizzling rain, denoting that vvc 
were entering upon a mountain region. Saw a kangaroo 
in the woods. At 3.15 p.m. we skirted the margin of 
Lake Sorrell, a fine sheet of water some five or six miles 
in length, and about the same in breadth at its wid(!St 
part. Towards its southern extremity its form becomes 
irregular, from the number of wooded promontories jutting 
into it. Off the south-west shore is a small islet, on the 
opposite side to that on which we made the lake. Saw 
two of those majestic birds, the black swans, swimming on 
it. The margin of the lake is wooded all round ; and as 
we rode round to the right, sometimes passing through 
woods, at others over fences, or along the little, sandy 
beaches or coves of the lake, eight more black swans 
{Cygnns airattis), with a few ducks and divers, made their 
appearance. Between its southern extremity and Lake 
Crescent is a flat, marshy tract, not half a mile across 
at its narrowest part, covered with swampy grass, through 
which runs a very narrow stream which connects the two 
lakes. Lake Crescent is about four miles in length and 
two in breadth, lying across the southern extremity of 
Lake Sorrell. 

We now had to ride through a tangled mass of trees 
and bushes and over log fences to Mr. Kemp's stock-hut, 
at the south-west corner of Lake Sorrell, which we reachtxl 
at six p.m., amidst heavy continuous rain, drenched to the 
skin ; the weather being thick, muggy, and heavy. The 
hut is a small, low building of logs, with shingle roof and 
a small square window or two, formed of four small, square 
panes of glass each. Opposite was a stable, in which we 
put our horses for the night, amid the loud barking and 
yelping of some ferocious dogs. 

Saturday, \']tli. — Having taken a hasty breakfast, we 
continued our journey at 8.45 a.m. Our track lay through 
a swampy ground of grass. We now shaped a south- 
westerly course, through a wild and thickly-wooded 

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I^oj'irovs of Discovery . 


country, for llic township of BothwcU. Near a stock-hut 
we crossed a shallow river, and finally lost all traces of a 
track ; for a few minutes we were undecided what course 
to follow, when we came upon a cart-track, the impression 
of the wheels barely perceptible on the grass. We had 
now to leap over log-fences, formed by trunks and stems 
of trees placed horizontally on each other, frequently 
having to remove the uppermost one before the horses 
would take them. 

At 1 2.30 p.m. we descended a very steep hill of trappean 
formation, down which we had to lead our horses, and 
with great caution, to prevent their slipping down. We 
crossed the river Clyde in our course. The ground was 
generally swampy, and clothed with long grass ; in many 
places the trees stood so thick that it required some 
tacking and manoeuvring not only to steer clear of the 
overhanging branches, but at the same time to look out 
that the knees did not come in contact with the trunks as 
we trotted through the woods. We entered the " Both- 
well Inn "at two p.m., most thoroughly drenched, it having 
rained incessantly throughout our last journey. W^e had 
ridden not less than thirty miles. 

Sunday, \%th. — I took a stroll through the little town- 
ship, which consists of some half a hundred houses, half 
a dozen of them respectable-looking ones. There is 
another got d inn, the " Crown," in the place, opposite 
to the " Bothwell Castle." The church is a white edifice. 
The township lies in an almost circular valley, bounded 
by a range of hills of moderate height. 

At 10.15 'I"!- we again mounted our ho' 
surface of the country now much improved in i. iiaucL, 
swelling into picturesque and wooded hills ; , saw a 
number of green paroquets. At 2.30 p.m. we alight d 
from our horses on the summit of a fine, green, swelling 
hill, commanding a charming prospect around ; the 
township of Hamilton spread out in the centre of the 

/ 'isif to the celebrated Fossil Tree, Mixcqiiarie Plains. 1 1 9 

grcfii valley bt'iieath us, with the loatl winclii\i; down it, 
the church bein^ the most j)roininent objc'ct. I rode 
down the descent on " Comet," having exchanged horses 
with the judge. It was quite a pleasure to ride this high- 
spirited blood horse, as he dashed with me ahead of the 
party. At 3.15 p.m. we lunchi.-d at the " Hit or Miss Inn," 
and left it at five p.m. From the hill above had the finest 
view of the grounds of Laurenny stretching along a 
beautifully wooded valley, terminated by a large mansion 
at an angle of the hills. At dusk, 7.20 p.m., had tea ; and 
took up our quarters for the night at the " Woolpack 

Monday^ \gtli. — Rose at 6.20 a.m., and after breakfast 
continued our route, and paid a visit to the celebrated 
fossil tree at the extremity of a narrow ridge of scoria- 
ceous rock some seventy feet above the river, a stream 
about twelve feet across, winding through a wooded 
ravine 100 yards wide. The tree is of silvery white, with 
a yellowish, brown, resinous colour at its base. It is six 
feet in height, seven feet three inches in circumference, 
lifleen inches in diameter at the top, having an exterior 
covering of a loose, flocculent, siliceous substance, and 
embedded in vesicular lava. The rock has been exca- 
vated around it, and on either side are a few stunted 

The second tree had been completely enclosed in the 
scoriaceous rock, forming a steep cliff, a short distance 
only to the right, twenty feet above a curve in the river, 
which here is not more than ten feet across, winding 
through a grove of trees in a valley sixty yards wide. 
Only a portion of this fossil tree remains at the top of 
the chimney-shaped orifice in the rock. It has a very 
opalescent appearance ; the lower portion has been re- 
moved, leaving the impression on the surface-sides of the 
lava for about seven feet downwards, and a foot in 
diameter. Below this again, on the shelving portion of 

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Voy(7gcs of Discovery, 

the rock, a fragment of the lower part was embedded in 
the soil, the whole trunk having been in a vertical posi- 
tion. The summit of the cliff itself was about forty feet 
above the river, having a green sloping hill opposite. 
Regaining the road, we continued our route for nearly a 
mile further to Mr. Barker's, the proprietor of the fossil 
trees. His house is situated in a valley where the winding 
of the river forms a peninsula in its reach. At 11.15 a.m. 
Mr. Barker accompanied us over the green hill above 
the house to a reach of the Derwent, about two miles 
distant, to see the spot where two fossil trees had formerly 
been embedded in lava on a low bank ; both had been in 
a vertical position. A long, low, wooded island occupies 
the middle of the river here, lying parallel with its banks. 
We returned to the house at one p.m., where we dined. 
At 2.15 p.m. we departed for New Norfolk along the 
bank of the river nearly the whole way. At 3.20 p.m. 
passed a sandstone cliff twenty feet in height, on the 
left side of the road, dipping to the westward at an angle 
of 40°. Here very singular masses of greenstone, nearly 
cylindrical in form, and from eighteen to twenty inches 
in diameter, and six feet in length, lay embedded in the 
sandstone, pointing downwards on the road, like a tier 
of cannt)n in a battery. In some spots dark shades, like 
black dust scattered over the cliff, would appear to 
indicate traces of coal. 

I rode " Comet " into New Norfolk, where we took up 
our quarters at five p.m. at the " Bush Inn," having 
crossed the river over the floating wooden bridge. New 
Norfolk, although pleasantly situated on the banks of the 
Derwent, looks like a deserted village, so dull and quiet 
is it. The steamer and the stage-coach arrived here 
about the same time from Hobart Town. 

Tuesday^ 20th. — Rose at five a.m, and mounting 
" Comet," we started for Hobart Town ; the road 
diverges from the river for about a mile, then again 

Return to Ilohart Toivn. 


following it closely for most of the way, passing several 
sections of sandstone and limestone on the cliffs to 
the right. Passed the " Black Snake Inn," and several 
villas, through New Town down the lane to the river, 
and across the paddock to the observatory, where 
we alighted, and took our leave of the worthy judge, 
through whose kindness we have had an opportunity of 
seeing so much of the country in the short space of nine 
days. We much enjoyed our excursion, notwithstanding 
the very unfavourable w^eather returning. Met Sir John 
Hammett, a brother officer of mine, at the " Derwent 
Tavern." Captain Ross having a party of friends on 
board to dinner, we could not get a boat to land us till 
6.30 p.m., and were consequently too late for dinner at 
the army mess, to which we had been invited. 

Wednesday^ 2\st. — Showery weather. I breakfasted 
with the Friends at the " Freemason's Hotel," and at 
ten p.m. went to the governor's ball, and left at one a.m., 
night fine. Called alongside Terror, and returned on 
board at two a.m. 

Friday, ^yd. — Fine day. Went on shore and ordered 
a new gun-stock to replace the one I had found broken 
at one of the inns on our journey, but how I knew not ; 
it vexed me, being my old pet stock, which I had before 
broken at Spitzbergen, in knocking down my first rein- 
deer, and had had repaired on board. Having received 
through Captain Ross an invitation from Sir John and 
Lady Franklin to accompany them in their yacht on an 
excursion to Port Arthur, I went to Captain Moriarty's, 
the harbour-master, and after taking tea with his family, 
at seven p.m. accompanied him on board the yacht from 
his own house. We got the yacht under weigh, but the 
breeze failing us, made no progress. 

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Tesselated Pavement, Eagle-Hawk Neck, Tasmania. (Seepage 124.) 


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Excursion to Port Arthur— Inspection of convicts — Dog sentinels — The 
tesselated jxivement — The coal-mines — Hack at Hobart Town — 
A funeral procession of boats — Complimentary ball— Laying the 
foundation-stone of the new Government House — Farewell to 

Saturday, 2^^/i. — At 8.30 a.m. we breakfasted; and 
at 9.10 a.m. I accompanied Captain Moriarty in a boat 
to board the Janet Willis, coming up the river from 
England, which she left on the 8th of July; but had 
nothing for us in the bag of letters and newspapers we 
examined on her deck. After lunch, the sea-breeze 
taking us to Norfolk Bay, we all left the yacht and 
crossed by the railway, a very narrow road cut through 
the thick woods, along which we were pushed in small 
carts by a number of convicts. I rode part of the way 
and walked the remainder. At six p.m. we passed the 
halfway house, and it was dusk when we embarked in 
the boat on the opposite side, where the lights of Port 

YaclU Excursion to Port ArtJntr. 


Arthur appeared ; landed at eight p.m. ; went to Captain 
Booth's, the commandant, where we dined. The Governor 
inspected the whole of the convict establishment here, 
and we accompanied him and the commandant all round. 
The prisoners were arranged in tiers along the sides of 
the room, each narrow crib being separated by a low 
board. A light is constantly kept burning, and an over- 
seer on watch throughout the night. What lamentable 
specimens of poor humanity, crime indelibly stamped in 
the vile physiognomy of each ! Several of us visited 
Lieutenant Kelly's (of the 51st) quarters, who is in charge 
of a detachment of the regiment here. 

Sunday^ i^tli. — In the afternoon several of us walked 
round Point Puer, and I examined the argillaceous cliff 
here, containing sever.''l kinds of fossil shells ; and m 
returning near the signal-station, I had an opportunity 
afforded me of seeing the beautiful, pure white hawk 
of the island in his wild haunts flying overhead. Here 
were several of the shrubs called the native plum, 
with a variety of wild flowers. At seven p.m. I dined 
at the commandant's with Sir John Franklin and 

Monday, 26tli. — Started at 6.45 a.m. from the wharf, 
where a guard of soldiers were drawn up to receive the 
Governor. We embarked 'v.\ three boats, and at 7.30 
a.m. landed, where the railway-cart took us to the half- 
way house. I walked occasionally and saw a great 
number of wild flowers along the sides of the road, and 
a flock of black cockatoos. The woods were \\.iy 
dense, some of the trees very lofty, having trunks as 
erect as a ship's mast. At nine a.m wi' again embarked 
in the boat, went alongside of the schooner-yacht, and 
shoved off again in about ten minutes for Eagle- Hawk 
Neck, a low, narrow, sandy isthmus, connecting las- 
man's with Forester's Peninsula, having on one side the 
sea and Pirate's Bay, and on the other an inlet from 

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Norfolk Bay. Up the latter inlet \vc pulled the boats ; 
it is wooded on either side. 

Reached Eagle-Hawk Neck at ten a.m., and landed at 
a long wooden pier, amid the loud barking of eleven 
dogs, nine of which were chained to stakes in the ground, 
and two chained on a platform, erected over the water 
on piles, forming a line of ever-watchful sentinels across 
the low sandy hollow, for about 100 yards or so, the 
breadth of the neck between two ridges. They were 
the most ferocious-looking brutes I ever saw. Dashing 
at us, as far as the length of their chains would permit 
them, with deafening howls, and barking as we passed 
them to the opposite beach — a hard, fine, white sand, 
to examine the so-called — by the colonists — " Tesselated 
pavement." This freak of nature forms indeed a most 
remarkable specimen of her works. Turning to the left, 
along the beach of Pirate's Bay, at 10.30 a.m., we reached 
the argillaceous cliffs, abounding in fossil shells, and at 
their base the debris, instead of forming a talus, had 
been, by the action of the waves, where the sea breaks 
over the fallen rocks, formed into a platform. This plain 
surface of the argillaceous rock is divided by lines, ar- 
ranged with the most geometrical precision, torming the 
siliceous clay, of which it is composed, into symmetrical 
slabs, varying in length and breadth, frequently having 
their margins bordered in strong relief. The dimensions 
of those I measured were from three to nine feet in 
length, and from four to eight inches, or even six feet in 
breadth. Others formed square.'- of eighteen inches. 
These divisional pHnes had a general bearing of E. by 
N., with a perfect;/ geometrical parallelism in relation 
to each other. The curious structure here displayed 
may probably be due to the agency of some electro- 
magnetic forces, acting upon the atoms or molecules of 
matter whilst passing into a solid condition in the process 
of cooling; thus, giving a definite direction to the 

Tcssclatcd PavcDicnt^ Eaglc-Ilaivk Neck. 125 

ordinary partings which argillaceous deposits so fre- 
quently present, when contracting under sudden changes 
of temperature, during their consolidation. At the first 
glance its marvellous symmetrical appearance, so like a 
work of art, is very striking. Spirifenje and other similar 
fossil shells are most profusely embedded in this deposit, 
forming quite a mosaic pavement. 

At 2.45 p.m. we landed on the west side of the bay, to 
visit the coal-mines. The first is open between basaltic 
rocks, assuming the columnar form. The shaft is sunk 
to the depth of fifty-two yards, down which I descended 
in a basket. The galleries are very low and narrow, 
swampy and muddy, and worked underground for about 
300 feet. The seams of coal are from four to six feet 
in thickness, and overlaid by a stratum of sandstone. 
Sixty men are employed in this mine, and the average 
daily quantity of coals raised from the pit amounts to 
forty chaldrons. 

We walked round to the second mine, lately opened 
near the beach ; the coal here is so near the surface no 
shaft has been sunk, but a tolerably wide tunnel has been 
excavated in a straight line for forty-seven yards in the 
sandstone and argillaceous rocks, beneath which lies 
the seam of coal, of a better quality than in the first mine. 
It has not yet been worked to its entire depth. 

Tuesday, 27///. — Off the Iron Pot Lighthouse this 
morning; reached Hobart Town at 9.30 a.m. As I left 
the yacht, at ten 10.15 a.m., passed nine of our boats 
in a line, forming a funeral procession, with the body of 
our poor old captain of the hold, who had unhappily lost 
his life by falling into a w^ater-tank in the hold, being 
suffocated in the foul air. I received an invitation to 
dine at Government House on Monday. The Mary 
Hay sailed for England to-day, with our Natural History 
specimens on board. 

Thursday, i^th. — Mr. Gregson of Risdon, and Lieu- 

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yoya^es of Discovery. 



tenant Breton, R.N., of Richmond, dined on board with 
me ; and after landinj^ them at nine p.m., I went to the 
ball given by the inhabitants in the new custom-house 
rooms, to the captains and officers of the Antarctic Ex- 
pedition. I entered the ball-room at ten p.m., soon after 
which the Governor, Sir John, and Lady Franklin, and 
suite arrived, and with them the captains. The ball- 
room was lined with flags on the left side, two colours, 
with the arms of Captains Ross and Crozier. 

We breakfasted at nine a.m. at Lieutenant Breton's, 
and saw his fine collection of fossils and other native 
specimens of the island. 

In the afternoon we sailed in the whale-boat for the 
Erebus, getting on board at 5.30 p.m. Gregson and 
Breton dined on board with me, and Dr. Clarke, the 
Inspector-General of Army Hospitals, a party of thirteen 
in all sitting down to table in our small gun-room 

Monday, November 2nd. — ^Landed with Gregson, who 
slept on board in my cabin last night. We went to a Mr. 
Crombie's, a friend of his in Hobart Town, from which I 
accompanied Mr. Gregson and his family in their carriage 
to the Paddock, where I had a boat in readiness to take 
them ofT to see the ship. At 3.30 p.m. I took them on 
shore again in the galley, and, after showing them the 
Observatory, I returned on board to dress for dinner at 
Government House, which took place at 6.30 p.m. My 
friend Gregson was present, and also at the Natural 
History Society's Meeting, when a paper on skulls was 
read by Mr. Bedford, and the leader on Magnetism in 
the last Quarterly was read by Sir John Franklin. I got 
on board again at one o'clock in the morning. 

Thursday, ^th. — Saw the first stone of the new 
Government House laid by Sir John Franklin in the 
Paddock. Both the captains were present, with the 
military, and a large concourse of people. The two 

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Foundation-stone of the New College laid. 127 

ships were dressed in flags, and salutes fired from 
them ; after which there was a dance and supper at the 

Saturday, ']th. — The lYezv Norfolk steamer was taken 
by the Governor to-day, for the purpose of conveying a 
large party up the river to see the foundation-stone of 
the new college laid. The two captains and the officers 
of the expedition had tickets given them for a passage in 
her. Sir John and Lady Franklin, with their daughter, 
proceeding by land. The steamer started from the old 
wharf at nine a.m., with her decks crowded, and having 
a fair proportion of ladies. Sir John Franklin went 
through the customary form of laying the stone, not far 
from the Government Cottage, making an appropriate 
speech on the occasion. After the ceremony was con- 
cluded a large sheet of paper was laid upon the table, for 
the signature of those disposed to annex their names, so 
I added my own autograph to the rest. Returned to 
Hobart Town at 7.30 p.m. 

Sunday, 8t/t. — At 2.30 p.m. I started for Risdon, across 
the Paddock. Reached the ferry at 3.30 p.m., and Greg- 
son's at four p.m. The beautiful situation of this mansion, 
on a rising knoll, commanding so fine a viewof the Derwent, 
the grounds of New Town, on the opposite bank, with 
the fine background of Mount Wellington, the smooth 
water of the creek, like a lake, beneath the house, and 
flanked by woods, together with the fineness of the 
evening, induced us all to have our tea on the lawn. 

Tuesday, \oth. — -The ship was yesterday unmoored 
ready for sea, but thick weather and calms prevented 
our sailing. Sir John Franklin came on board and dined 
with us in the gun-room. We had rather a large party, 
Captains Ross and Crozier, Mr. Gregson, and Captain 
Foreman, being of the number. 

Wednesday ^ i \th. — The state of the weather detaining 
us at anchor, at 4.15 p.m. I landed and walked through 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

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the Paddock to the ferry, which I reached at 5.25 p.m., 
and Risdon at six p.m., to spend my last evening with 
my excellent friend Gregson and his charming family, 
under whose roof I had passed so many happy hours, 
and looked upon as a home, in the brief intervals of 
leisure my own multifarious duties in such an arduous 
service as we are engaged in would afford me. I found 
my friends at tea, after which we passed a delightful 
evening in music and singing, and after supper I took 
my departure at 11.30 p.m., with a present of some 
home-made raspberry vinegar and ginger-beer, young 
Gregson accompanying me down to the head of the 
creek, where his boat was awaiting me to take me on 
board. I got alongside the Erebus soon after midnight, 
a beautiful moonlight night, and the wind changed in our 

Thursday, \ith. — We at last got under weigh at 
five a.m., and hove-to off the town for Sir John Franklin, 
who came on board about seven a.m., and we stood 
clown the river, accompanied by the Eliza yacht. At 
1.30 p.m., when the pilot left us, the Governor took his 
leave of us, and as he descended the ship's side into his 
boat our rigging was manned, and three loud cheers 
given him, which, on his getting on board his yacht, was 
returned from her. To-day we commenced our sea-hours 
of dining at three p.m. Weather fine, but cloudy till 
evening set in, when rain fell. 

We have now fairly bid adieu, for some months at 
least, to the shores of this lovely island, and with deep 
regret. Its fine climate, beautiful and varied scenery, 
together with the boundless hospitality of its inhabitants, 
had made our sojourn here a delightful break in our 


An almost impervious Ravine in Auckland Islands. {See Ajq,' 132.) 


First voyage tovvanls tlie South Pole— Auckland Islands^ l'ji(lerl)y 
Island— Excursion up an almost impervious lavinc — IJotanical 
features — Ewing Island — Sandy Bay — Albatross eggs —Ornitho- 
logy of the islands — Departure. 

Friday, A^ovemher 13///, 1840. — We have now entered 
upon the first interesting portion of our expedition, to 
pass our summer, or what goes by the name of summer 
in this hemisphere, amid huge packs of icebergs and a 
glaciated land. Our future for the next few months is 
so exceptionally novel, so full of interest, so promising in 
the prospective of great discoveries in a region of our 
globe fresh and new as it was at creation's first dawn, 
and to the more sanguine and enthusiastic there is the 
possibility at least of unfurling our flag at the ice-girt 
Pole itself. 

Siiiuhiy, 15^/'- — Night fine. Saw the aurora australis 
shooting upwards to the zenith during the first watch. 

Friday, 2oth.- — Saw the land, about seven a.m., beating 
up along Enderby Island, one of the Auckland group 

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Voyaj^es of Discovery 

distant between 800 and 900 miles from Ilobart Town, 
and at one; p.m. came to an anchor in a large harbour 
called " Sarah's Bosom," having a deep creek running 
up to the left. At three p.m. I landed opposite 'd the 
ship in company with two of my shipmates. On first 
landing I shot two small ash-backed gulls at one shot. 
Saw only two small green-finches in the dense thickets 
which clothed the hill-sides, through which I made my 
way with great difficulty, rather by crawling than walking, 
for some two miles. My two companions, soon tiring of 
this sort of work, not having the same spur to exertion 
which my own natural history pursuits afforded me, 
returned to the beach. 

The trees scarcely exceeded twenty feet in height, and 
were so interlaced and matted together at the summits as 
almost to exclude the light as well as the sun's rays. 
Beneath was a rich, dark, deep, elastic, vegetable mould, 
clothed with a rank and dense underwood, creeping 
plants, grasses, mosses, and lichens. Some of the larger 
trees were growing in a nearly horizontal position, the 
trunks covered in the greatest profusion with lichens and 
mosses, beautifully embossed by them. I descended a 
ridge on emerging from this tangled forest inland, return- 
ing along a valley on the right clothed with thickets of 
underwood shrubs and long grass ; reached the beach 
at 4.30 p.m., and as it now began to rain, I returned on 
board with my two shipmates, whom I found awaiting my 
return on the beach. 

Monday^ 23^7/. — Landed at 7.45 a.m. to examine the 
extent of the large creek on the left side of the harbour, 
called Laurie Harbour. I first made my way through 
the densely tangled thickets over the point, reaching the 
creek at nintj a.m. The trees here became much taller, 
and the trunks of greater size, perfectly embossed with 
the richest covering of cryptogamic plants, both mosses 
and lichens abounding in the greati^st profusion I ever 

Ascent of Dan Bluff. 


s,i\v. Ferns too grow in the utmost luxuriance. Here 
and there large trunks of trees eoniph.'tely encased in 
cryptoganiic plants lay prostrate over the narrow, muddy 
channels of water which empty themselves into the bay, 
forming natural bridges. On ascending the hill-side from 
tin; inlet, the trees became replaced by bushes, in some 
places forming almost impenetrable thickets, denser 
than the most tangled white-thorn hedge. From the 
spot I had reached I saw our boat up the inlet, and 
at once made my way through the belt of wood to its 

Throughout this excursion I met with scarcely any 
signs of animal life ; it was almost the silence of an 
Arctic solitude ; all so still save the rather pleasing, 
plaintive, low note of a small olive-green fmch and 
blackish-looking bird, about the size of a starling, sitting 
on a bush at tio great a distance to discover its species, 
but probably belonging to the promerop's family. On 
the beach I shot a black-backed gull just as I was about 
to enter the boat. A brown-coloured duck and a mer- 
ganser frequent the harbour. After pulling down the 
creek to the bay, we made sail on board, reaching the 
ship at noon. 

TJiursday, 26th. — Blowing fresh, with squalls of sleet 
and snow at intervals. At nine a.m. I left the ship in the 
cutter, landing first at Pig Island, where we had landed 
our porkers. The rock is basalt, highly magnetic, and 
clothed with underwood. From this I crossed over to 
Point Deas Bluff, and landed there at 10.10 a.m. 
Ascended to the summit from the south-west side. It is 
formed of prismatic columns of basalt, highly magnetic, 
and only accessible through the help afforded by the long 
tufts of coarse grass growing out of the fissures in the 
rock, and these I found rather treacherous to trust to. 
A clump of trees and bushes, intermingled with ferns and 
other herbaceous plants, crowned the summit. Oik; very 

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pretty purple blossom, a jTCentian, peeped out from the 
rocky fissure. 

I had .1 fine view of an inlet in the coast on the oppo- 
site side of the island, flanked by a black headland. I 
returned by an easier descent on the other side of the 
head of the bay. Shot a shag, a black-backed gull, and 
a fine falcon on the beach. I met with a few limpets 
and mussels, and returned on board at three p.m. 

Fridaw 2'itli. — Our two cutters having left the ship at 
eight a.m., to haul the seine for fish up the inlet, I availed 
myself of the opportunity it afforded me to land at the 
upper end of it, without having to make my way through 
the dense thickets over the point. My intention was to 
follow the narrow stream f)r river which apparently runs 
from the top of the creek along the centre of the ravine 
to the opposite coast, for which purpose I left the boat at 
9.30 a.m., and shot one of the small olive-green birds 
on landing. 

I now followed the course of the running stream, 
which at its broadest part is only fifteen feet across. 
For the first half-mile it runs through a thicket of 
trees, ferns, grass, and rank vegetation. My course 
after this kept diverging from the banks of the rivulet 
till I came to some very thickly tangled bushes, indeed 
as impervious as a thicket of thorns to get through, 
and so matted and interlaced at the top that I some- 
times had to roll myself bodily over their flat summits. 
I crossed numerous small feeders trickling down from 
the hill-sides to enter this small river, winding its 
devious way through the bottom of the valley, sometimes 
heard gushing along in narrow channels or gullies, quite 
screened from sight by the overhanging, thickly tangled 
bushes, ferns, grasses, and mosses, and only warned 
from slipping into the stream beneath by the mur- 
muring sound of the running water. This sound, indeed, 
was often my only guide in finding its tortuous curves. 


/Ill iiiipauh-tihlc Ravine. 


concealed as it was beneath the superabundant vegeta- 
tion, but heard at some distance. When I had made 
my way with no small dilTieulty as far up the valley as 
between two and three miles, I crossed an open space of 
boij, a black peat, free from bushes, for a short distance, 
and having the blackened aspect of coarse grass burnt to 
the roots. This again was succeeded by long grass and 
thickets of bushes. When I had proceeded for about 
three miles, I saw before me spread out for some distant ' 
onwards a lovely orange-coloured patch produced by a 
large bed of the wild tritcjina {Clirvsohactron Nossii) in 
full bloom, the rich golden-yellow flower spikes contrast- 
ing with the deep leck-green of their long liliaceous 
leaves and the framework of ferns, grasses, and short 
thorny scrub in which they were set, conibined to produce 
a charming effect, much heightened, too, by the vicinity 
of an umbelliferous plant having flowers of a purplish 
hue. The bottom was of so swampy a nature that I 
sometimes sank knee-deep in the morass, rendering all 
progression most laborious and toilsome. 

After crossing a low wooded ridge I came upon a bend 
of the river on my right, foaming and murmuring along 
a deep channel, some six feet across, but entirely con- 
cealed from view by the overhanging densely tangled 
thickets. At eleven a.m. I plunged into an impenetrable 
bush, which appeared to extend for at least a mile ahead, 
but seemed bounded by a hill ; crossing the valley, this 
was partly enveloped in mist. It being now noonday, 
with the uncertainty of being able to reach the opposite 
side of the island by this course, and the utter im- 
possibility, even if I did, of reaching the ship before 
nightfall ; this prospect, together with the heavy rain 
which had been incessantly falling since I started, 
accompanied as it was by a cold, chilling state of the 
atmosphere, which all along had been overcast, thick, 
and gloomy, determined me on bearing up, and trying 


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some more elii;il)le route on some other clay to carry out 
my plan. 

I was now literally drenched to the skin, with the 
rain and the water constantly fallinij on me from the 
trees and bushes, as I forced my way through them ; my 
heavy water- boots, too, were sodden, and filled with water 
from frequently sinking a' ove their tops in wading through 
the swampy bog. In returning I followed the course of 
the river as nearly as I could, reaching the top of the 
creek of Laurie Harbour at 2.30 p.m., and after wading 
waist-deep across the mouth of the river, entered one of 
our boats, and got on board at 3.45 p.m. 

Sunday, 2<^th. — Accompanied Abernethy, our worthy 
gunner, on shore for a ramble, when we fell in with two 
large hogs in the thickest bushes, and I saw a falcon, 
ringed plover, two larks, some other small birds, and a 
number of gulls on the point. The pigs, originally left on 
the island by Captain Bristow, are now very numerous, 
although exceedingly difficult to find from the dense cover 
of vegetation. They live chiefly upon the roots of the 
Pleuropliyllum crinifermn and the Arabia polaris, a very 
remarkable plant bearing large umbels of waxy flowers, 
both plants abounding all over the island. We landed on 
the island at the point beyond Deas Head, and returned 
on board at 4.30 p.m. 

• Monday^ 30///. — Left the ship at seven a.m. to examine / 
the breeding-places of the albatross {Diomcdia cxidJiis), J 
landing at Ocean Point. We hauled the boat up a narrow 
creek in the basaltic rocks, which have the columnar form. 
I found a gull's cfrg^, and shot a green bird and a shag at 
the point. At nine a.m. sailed for Ewing Lsland. The 
rocks were covered with shags. I climbed over these 
precipices, through the thick bush-grass and rank vegeta- 
tion, to alow ledge of rocks, on which the sea breaks, and 
shot an albatross Hying overhead, which fell winged among 
the bushes on the hill above ; and on going up the ridge 

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Calch /wo o/i/ ,l//>a/r(>ssc-s. 

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lo pick il up, I found (Iirct.- of the yoiiii^ of tlie gnat 
pctri'l, and shot a niaUirt" one and sonu,' shags. At 
(liven a.m. I started for Knderby Island, and there canglu 
two old albatrosses, sitting together among the long grass 
llanki'd by bushes; they were doubtless about selecting 
a nesting-place. These birds are now in my own collec- 

1 afterwards landed at Sandy Hay, a pretty whit(.; 
sandy beach of crescentic form for a quarter of a mile, 
bounded by trappean rocks and crowned with wood. 
Above the centre of the beach is a hollow, fdled with long 
grass, growing in a rich, boggy soil in such rank luxurianc:(i 
as to be up to the hips, and Hanked by a sand-hill clad to 
the summit by the same kind of grass, having the whole 
skirted by a thicket of trees and bushes. 1 found snipe 
in tile long gi'ass, whi^di v.'ere very diHicult to (lush, and 
then rising close under the feet, darting down agani 
immediately only a yard or so away, rendering it a 
somewhat difficult matter to secure specimens without 
having them shattiTcd to pieces. 1 shot a braci-, how- 
ever, and saw a paroquet or two. Started at 3.30 \).m. 
and landed at the " IMuff " on the left, upon , low ledge, 
covered with chitons, mussc'ls, and limpets. Shot a shag. 
.All around is an inaccessible wall of basalt. 

7)tcs(/try, Decciiihcr \st. — Started in a boat under sail 
for Sandy Bay. Saw a penguin, two paroquets, and a 
snipe there. Shot three small larks and black cap 
(sv/vid), and a brown gull. Found a ni'W plant. 

'I'lntrsdiiy, 3^^/, 7.20 (i.))i. — I landed at thc!obser\atory, 
and dug out a blue petrel and egg from a hole in llu' 
hank, under some short bushes. I returned on b(/artl in 
the boat with the seine ; the two cutters alternards started 
ai 10. 15 a.m. for Sandy Hav to haul the seine, and I took 
a passage; in the first cutter with Abernethy, and on 
landing I shaped a W.N. \V. course through the thickets, 
following a watercourse over the hill till I reached the 




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Voyages of Discovery. 

grassy summit above the brushwood. Here I saw a 
pair of albatrosses silling near a nest without an egg, 
and crossed to the opposite side of the island, coasting 
it round to the right along the long grass, with hei ; 
and there a few flowers. In an hour and a hall I had 
picked up a dozen albatross eggs ; only in one solitary 
instance did I find two eggs in the same nest, and these 
two eggs were of an exceptional shape, one being more 
rounded and the other much more elongated than in the 
normal form, and were evidently twins, and laid by the 
same bird — no unusual occurrence amongst mammalia 
having one offspring as the ordinary number. The 
great naturalist, Cuvier, had been under the erroneous 
impression that the albatross laid more than one ttgg ; the 
opportunity these islands ha\e afforded me of examining 
so many nests during the season of incubation enables 
me definitively to assert that, like the petrels, to which 
they have a strong affinity through the form of the beak, 
one egg is the normal number. The fine white head and 
neck of the bird, appearing above the grass as she sits on 
her nest, would lead to its discovery at a great distance 
even did she not betray the having an egg beneath her 
by so pertinaciously refusing to quit it till pushed olT, 
bravely defending herself and her treasure with her beak, 
snapping the mandibles together with a sharp, ringing 
sound, making no attempt at flight unless driven off by 
force, when she waddles off in the most awkward and 
grotesque manner, floundering with outspread wings 
amongst the long grass, often rolling over and over if 
any ruggedness of the ground obstruct her progress. I 
returned to the beach through a tangled thicket of 
trees, bushes, and long grass down the rocks, at no small 
risk to my freight of eggs, each averaging above a pound 
in weight, carrying such a fragile cargo for about a quarter 
of a mile, till I came upon the hollow of long grass, the 
haunt of the snipe, and where I shot three, and a paroquet 

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Depart lire from, the .luchlaiid IsliDids. 


flying overhead, v/hich, falling in the long grass, I had 
some dilficulty in finding. I reached the boat at 3. 1 5 p.m., 
where I had to wait till 7.45 p.m. before we got all our party 
together, blowing and raining all the time, during which I 
shot a small gull and two green birds on the beach, and 
then had to pull against a strong head-wind, coming 
in sudden gusts, with thick weather and a short head-sea 
breaking over the boat, the moon just making her appear- 
ance over the land. We got on board at 9.45 p.m., having 
made a good day's work of eggs. 

Monday^ ']tli, 5.30 — I landed in the whale-boat, 
and crossed the island from the observatory to the 
opposite bay, through the usual tangled thickets and 
long grass ; reached the bay, which is d. dt;d in two by 
a ledge of rocks. At 6.15 I passed a n. mber of pig- 
tracks, and found abundant traces of them everywhere in 
the woods, in the turned-up soi', and fresh leaves of 
plants just torn off and strewed about. The impressions 
of their feet in the mud of a watercourse above the way, 
fnimed a regular track made by numbers of these animals. 
Yet I did not hear or see a single one. The steep rock 
on the right side of the bay was hollowed out into a 
cave, and full of gulls. I crossed the stream and ascended 
the wooded hill on the opposite side, returning to the 
cliffs along the coast, which, being covered only with burnt 
grass, presented a black and charred aspect. I now 
shaped my course round the extreme point of the island, 
by the Arched Rock, through a rank ground vegetation' 
of ferns and umbellifera to Deas Head. There I shot a 
specimen of the Tui, or parson-bird; and a few hundred 
yards inland of this and the bay I passed a small lake 
or pond, some twenty-live yards in length, in the centre 
of an almost impenetrable thicket, a narrow, deep water- 
course running from it into the bay. I g(jt on board 
through wind and rain at between five and six p.m. 

Saturday, 12///.— At 5.40 a.m. we took our departure 


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I 'oyagcs of Discovery, 

from the Auckland Islands. I had been employed for 
the last few days in skinning albatrosses and other birds 
for the Government collection. In going out of the har- 
bour the fine perpendicular columns of basalt appeared 
very conspicuous and to great advantage on either side 
of Sandy Bay. 









Canii)bull Island— Jioth sliips aground — Albatross and Icslris shooting — 
An albatross wooing -A dull (!hristnias l)ay--C)ur fust iceberg — 
Ocean birds —I'agging specimens while under full sail — Sunrise at 
midnight — In the ice-pack — Our Twelfth-cake — Man overboard. 

Sunday, December 13///. — At eight a.m. Campbell Island 
in sight. Had to beat up in thirty-six tacks to the top of the 
harbour, which is very deep, and there being barely room 
for going about in some places. We grounded before 
we reached the top in two or three places ; thus losing 
two hours before we got afloat again, by warping off the 
shore. We anchored at five p.m. ; albatrosses and gulls 

The Terror ran aground off the point, and did not get 
afloat again till the middle watch this morning, Monday. 

14///. — I landed in the second cutter on the right 
point of the creek, and walked to the head of it along 
the beach, which was thickly strewed over with quartz 
pebbles. Here a narrow stream, which may be leaped 
across, pours its waters into the creek. The valley 
through which this stream runs in its descent is clothed 
with withered-looking, blackened bushes. Ascending a 
hill on the left, through a thick fog, at 10.45 'I-'H-, 1 
reached the base of a steep rock, and under the lee of 
this the conspicuous while head and neck of the alba- 
tross appeared through the fog only a short distance off, 
and I found the first egg on this island here. Tiie nest 
is a very simple affair, formed of withered grass and leaves 

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Voyages 0/ Discovery. 



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matted together, and intermingled with a mound of soil 
eighteen inehes in height, two feet and a quarter in dia- 
meter at the top, and six feet in circumference at the 
base. The albatross is frequently found sleeping on its 
egg, with its head under the right wing. After taking 
the egg- from the nest, I scattered some Kerguelen Land 
cabbage-seed in it, as the soil appeared to me favourable 
for its germination. I found six eggs hereabouts, and 
descended to the other side of the hill, to the base of a 
ridge of rocks. The fog just now beginning to lift, the 
harbour appeared below me, and the inland ridge of hills 
which appear to separate it from the opposite coast, for 
which I directed my steps at one p.m., and saw the sea 
with only a deep valley between ; I found five more 
albatross eggs here. A brown skua-gull, or lestris, 
alighted close to my feet, and appeared to be very de- 
sirous of sharing the spoil with me. This bird, I have 
no doubt, both from its audacity and manner, is the 
albatross's worst enemy, never losing an opportunity of 
robbing the nest when the albatross leaves it, for however 
brief an interval. I have myself noticed it always on the 
alert prowling around. 

Here I passed a small lake or pool of water, some 
ihirty feet in length, with a rivulet running under the 
thickly interwoven short -'Tub of ferns and long grass to 
the river, abounding in ihose beautiful orange-yellow 
spikes of the tritoma which I met with at the Auckland 
Islands, together with the large purple umbels. Indeed, 
the whole flora bears a striking affinity, and many of the 
species are the same. Descending the ridge through 
the grass-covered valley, I reached the shore at 2.45 p.m., 
a steep, perpendicular cliff overhanging the sea. 

The whole outline of coast presented a bold, wild, 
rugged chain of precipices, with points jutting into the 
sea ; six rocks rising above the surface of the water 
beneath, of which the two nearest would appear to have 

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All Albatross IVooinc. 


fallen, from corresponding excavations in the cliffs on 
which I stood. To the left a small bay runs in, flanked 
by a remarkable barn-shaped hill, having a gable-like 
end ; another hill on the right, having circular terraces 
to the summit, much resembled the trappean terraces of 
Kerguelen's Land. At three p.m. I returned over a 
saddle between two hills, where I found four more alba- 
tross eggs, and saw four of the birds grouped together ; 
and one flying overhead, being out of the reach of shot, 
I brought down with a ball one of the barrels of my gun 
was loaded with, by breaking its wing, needing it for the 
collection. At 4.30 p.m. I reached the boat, and here 
shot three of the albatross's foe, the lestris, and got on 
board at six p.m. 

Wednesday, \6th. — Landed at the foot of the hill on 
the starboard side of the bay, opposite to the ship. I 
reached the summit of the hill in about half an hour, a 
grassy slope studded over with a few stunted bushes. 
Passing along a perpendicular wall of rock, I reached 
the peak which crowns the summit of the range ; this is 
a bare, inaccessible pinnacle of basalt overhanging the 
deep valley on the opposite side, a bay running in from 
the sea on the right. I continued along this ridge, or 
backbone of the range, in the direction of the sea. 
The albatrosses were breeding in great numbers in the 
long grass covering the land. Their beautiful white 
necks seen above the grass as they sit on their nests, 
studding the hills in all directions. Now and then the 
male bird may be seen standing by the nest alongside of 
its mate, but more frequently the female is alone, and 
not unfrequently sleeping. In all the nests that I 
examined here, and they were not a f<'W, each contained 
but one egg. 

On the summit of the ridge I had an opportunity 
afforded me of witnessing an albatross wooing. A group 
of thirteen of these birds had assembled together, evi- 

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i'oyj^cs of Discovery. 

dently for the purpose of selecting their future partners, 
and so intently were they en<;aged in this ceremony, that 
my own approach was quite unheixled by them ; I 
silently stood for some time within a few paces watchini^ 
them. It was quite a pantomime of billing and twisting 
of necks into various curvatures, without a note or sound 
escaping them. Several others were flying overhead as 
they arrived from the sea, rapidly cleaving the air with 
their huge pinions, anxious to join the coterie below 
them. It was a los-ely day, a brilliant sun in the clearest 
blue azure sky, with the wide expanse of the surrounding 
ocean of the deepest blue. I passed by two or three 
small lakes, or rather lakelets, about, perhaps, 100 yards 
across, and had a fine view of the harbour with the 
ships beneath me, from a cliff near this. Descending 
from the ridge for about a mile, through long grass, 
bushes, and short scrub, the ground in places carpeted, 
with an elegant small fern, which several albatrosses 
had here selected as a cover for their nests, often seen 
silting in groups of two or three, and within a few yards 
of each other. 

On the ridge several lestrises fiercely attacked me, 
circling round my head, and darting with open beak at 
my face, so close as nearly to strike me with their out- 
spread wings. This very clamorous proceeding left me 
in no doubt whatever as to my close proximity to their 
nests. Indeed, after a very short search, I found a young 
one, covered with down of a yellow colour, and squatted 
amongst the long grass; and not far from it, in a slight 
depression of the ground, a solitary egg, a valuable find, 
as I believe it to be a new species ; and to have the whole 
complete needed the addition of the parent birds, which 
the cries of the young one, on being captured, rendered 
desperate. Indeed, to get rid of their annoyance, in 
self-defence, I may say, I was induced to shoot, not only 
the old pair, as I supposed, but a third bird, that became 



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too pertinacious. I now returned alonij a deep grass-jjjrown 
hollow to the bay, near to the spot where I asei-iided the 
first hill. Here I met with some of the ship's company, 
who had like myself been egij-hunting, but had not been 
equally fortunate in getting their eggs safely through the 
dense thickets, having broken most of them, as the con- 
dition of their outer- garments but too plainly betrayed, 
and from the effects of which they were endeavouring to 
extricate themselves when I fell in with them. 

Thursday^ \ltli. — At 9.15 a.m. sailed with a fine fair 
wind to the southward, accompanied by albatrosses, blue 
petrel, black-backed gulls, and a solitary lestris. 

Friday, 2^tli. — A disagreeable, overcast, rainy Christ- 
mas Day, the thermometer 57° l""ahr,, latitude at noon 62°, 
longitude 1 70° 20'. Captain Ross and the midshipmen 
dined with us in the gun-room at three p.m., ship lying- 
to. No divisions or divine service. I have been engaged 
ever since we left the land in skinning birds, drying 
plants, and arranging and stowing away natural history 

Saturday, 26th. — Fine day, ship laying-to, and drifting 
to the eastward. On the following day, Sunday, we had 
neither divisions nor divine service, lying-to in a gale of 
wind, with snow at intervals. Just as we were sitting 
down to dinner, our table was swamped by two seas 
coming in quick succession down the gun-room skylight, 
deluging the table-cloth and everything on it, and 1 
happened to be the unlucky president on the occasion. 

Monday, 28///. — Fine day, with a bracing fresh breeze. 
Going six knots through smooth water. At 7.15 p.m. 
land was reported ahead, which, however, proved to he a 
large iceberg on the lee-bow, the first we have as yet 
f'llen in with. It was five or six leagues off when we 
steered for it, and at 9.40 p.m. we passed within a 
quarter of a mile, and to leeward of it. It was more 100 fec't in height, of a white colour, in places 


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WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


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faintly tinted with blue, which became of a deeper shade 
when the sea washed its base. It might be compared 
to a large frigate just launched, without her masts and 
spars, calmly and majestically floating with bow to 
leeward. A large petrel was flying near it. Two more 
bergs soon made their appearance, one of them resem- 
bling the roof of a house covered with snow. Terror 
about a quarter of a mile astern. At midnight, when I 
left the deck, I counted six more, three to windward 
and two to leeward, and one ahead, with a whale blowing. 
Thermometer 31°, latitude 63° 22', longitude 174°, a 
fresh breeze, and smooth water. Although the darkest 
portion of the twenty-four hours, the thermometer could 
be readily read off by daylight. 

Tuesday, 29///. — Fine morning. I counted sixteen 
pieces of ice around the horizon. Becalmed during 
the middle of the day. Afterwards passed a lir.c^ of 
bergs to windward, six of them of large size. Since 
we entered amongst the ice the blue petrel seem to have 
deserted us. The sooty and small black-backed albatross, 
with several whales about us, the latter blowing and 
sending up jets of vapour and spray, and then descending 
with the tail uppermost; a berg to windward, resembling 
a cottage in shape, having a chimney at its gable, and 
another might be likened to a chariot and pair of horses, 
quite white. The thermometer has now fallen below 
the freezing-point, being 29*^ to-day, the air keen and 
piercing, latitude 64° 7'. 

Wednesday, 2,0th. — Being a fine day with light winds 
and calms, we sounded in latitude 64° 34', longitude 
i,"3°, in 1560 fathoms, having 5000 fathoms on the reel, 
formed of 300 fathoms of strands of whale line, 700 of 
9 yarn, and 360 of 6 yarn, spun yarn in the portion 
run out. Observed a petrel we have not hitherto met 
wit , of a lighter colour, and somewhat larger than the 
Cape petrel. 

- 4>V 

«j i 

Shoot the first White Petrel. 


Tliursday, 31^/. — Fine day, with a fresh breeze. 
Going four and five knots through the water to the 
southward. South-easterly winds, thermometer 30°, lati- 
tude 66° o' 25", longitude 171° 53'. Passed an iceberg 
about* three miles to windward, resembling in form a 
high-prowed galley, with several others of large size. 
The south-west horizon to leeward presented a long 
yellowish-white streak of light, like an ice-blink, sur- 
mounted by a dark bank of clouds. The same two kinds 
of albatrosses we have seen for the last few days still 
accompanying us, and also the light ash-backed petrel, 
with a solitary stormy petrel flying in the wake. The 
surface of the sea was studded over with small bits of ice. 
This ^morning, tor the first time, I saw the beautiful 
and elegant white petre! {Procellarin nivea), its black 
beak and feet forming a striking contrast to its pure, 
unsullied, snow-white plumage, rivalling in its whiteness 
the snow-clad berg itself; several were hovering round 
the ship, rising higher as they swept to windward, in 
their rapid and graceful evolutions. After skimming 
along the surface of the sea for a time they will fre- 
quently fly round the ship in pairs. 

Being anxious to secure an early specimen of this rare 
and beautiful bird for the collection, I seated myself in the 
galley, on the port-side of the quarter-deck, with my old 
double-barrel gun in my hand, and during the forenoon 
watched for an opportunity when the bird was hovering 
over the mast-head, well to windward, so that when shot 
dead it might fall on board. After a little practice,' by 
taking into calculation the force of the wind and velocity 
in the flight of the bird, I became very successful in 
thus bagging my specimens ; the eye and hand soon 
acting in concert, in estimating the angle at which the 
bird should be fired at, to secure its falling on board. At 
the fourth shot I had the satisfaction of examining this 
lovely bird in my hand, it having fallen dead on the taff- 

VOL. I. L 


I I 




Voyages of Discovery. 

ii ' 

I ..! 

rail to leeward, striking against the mizzen-trysail in its 
descent. This was now my only chance of obtaining 
specimens for the ornithological collection, as the 
ship's course could not be delayed for lowering a boat 
to pick them up. Saw a large berg ahead, and a sinaller 
one on the lee-bow, resembling the hull of a ten-gun 
brig. I saw the old year out and the new one in, under 
somewhat novel circumstances, the sun rising exactly 
at midnight, in the S.E. by E. quarter, gliding slowly 
along the horizon so that the lower limb was scarcely clear 
of it when I left the deck at 1.40 p.m., to turn in. A 
streak of red diffused itself along the horizon, surmounted 
by a bank of clouds, very beautifully striated with the 
same colour. 

Friday^ January \st, 1841. — We commenced the 
new year by crossing the Antarctic circle, but light winds 
and a quantity of loose stream-ice prevented us from 
making much progress within ils confines ; the ther- 
mometer at 31°, with a fall of snow, and a westerly wind. 
Several icebergs in sight, and whales spouting; the 
white and the ash-backed petrel flying about us with a 
solitary stormy- petrel. The crow's-nest was got up to 
the forc-topmast-head to-day, and I went up into the 
fore-top to have a look at the ice. At four p.m. the officers 
from the gun-room and the midshipmen's berth dined with 
Captain Ross in his cabin ; the fare, fresh roast beef ; 
and bullock's heart. During the first watch I went up to 
the crow's-nest. A box-cloth jacket and trousers, a pair 
of water-boots, two pairs of hose, two comforters, a red 
frock, and a Welsh wig were this morning served out to 
the officers and ship's company. 

Tuesday, ^th. — At 9.15 a.m. we entered the pack with 
a fine fresh breeze in our favour, ha\ing yesterday passed 
several icebergs, one resembling a village church, and 
another like a cottage, with a third having all the appear- 
ance of an old hulk, with a lighter alongside. To-day 

Passino through the Pack. 


we are going at the rate of four and five knots through 
the pack, with fine, clear sunshine. Passed two more 
bergs, the one nearest to us was sixty to seventy feet in 
height. The pieces of ice through which we passed 
were loosely packed, seldom exceeding thirty or forty 
feet in diameter, with a smooth, flat surface, having here 
and there small irregular prominences or hummocks, the 
whole of a snowy whiteness ; the sea-edge of the ice not 
more than six to eight inches deep. Now and then 
we had to haul out of the way of a heavier and higher 
hummocky patch ; at times we passed through a mile or 
two of open water. It required strict attention to the 
helm in working through the narrow lanes and openings, 
to avoid coming in collision with the larger masses, 
some of which had cracks in them, tinted with the finest 
azure blue. Looking towards the horizon, the pack in 
the distance presented a uniform white surface from the 
dark lanes of water between being concealed. The 
birds about us were chiefly the white petrel, that har- 
binger of ice, never met with beyond the vicinity of the 
pack, a gigantic and a stormy petrel, and a pair of 
penguins ; the latter, sitting on a piece of ice on the 
port-bow, plunged into the sea as the ship passed. In 
the afternoon I went up to the fore-topsail yard and 
saw open water in the horizon, with a dark water sky, so 
far favourable for us. 

Wednesday^ 6th. — Being Twelfth-night, all the officers 
took tea in the cabin with Captain Ross, and partook of 
a Twelfth-cake, which had been given him in a tin case, 
and was to have been opened on the 6th of January, 
1840, but had been reserved for entering the ice. It was 
accompanied by the customary painted figures on paper 
and sugar, with enigmas to solve, which afforded us all 
some amusement and laughter ; to aid which we had a 
glass of cherry brandy each. Captain Crozier was a 
guest; and Captain Ross afterwards, with some of the 

L 2 









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I .'M 



Voyages of Discovery. 

officers, returned with him on board the Terror, to spend 
the remainder of the evening. At nine p.m., as the boat 
was being hauled up alongside, to take them, one of 
the Terror s crew fell overboard from the gangway ; the 
life-buoy was immediately let go, and the port-quarter 
boat lowered, into which, being on deck at the time, I 
jumped as she was in the act of being lowered in the 
falls, and afterwards from her into the Terro/s boat, 
which had just picked up the poor fellow only a short 
distance astern of the siiip. After changing his wet 
clothes, and getting him between warm blankets, and 
into a hammock, he soon recovered from the effects of 
his more than usually cold bath. We fortunately were 
hove-to at the time, in an opening of water amongst 
the ice. During the first watch I went up into the crow's- 
nest, to have a look at the leads of open water, and dis- 
covered the appearance of one to the southward. Aber- 
nethy, our able and experienced ice-master and gunner, 
was on the look-out in the nest at the time I went up. 
The sun is now constantly above the horizon ; thermo- 
meter 30"", and wind westerly. 

Thursday, 7///.— Hove-to, and occasionally filling and 
tacking amongst the loose ice. Saw a seal swimming 
on the port-bow, the first I have yet seen here. This 
afternoon I shot the first penguin, on a piece of ice on 
the port-quarter, and Captain Ross permitted a boat to 
be lowered to pick it up. Several others, generally in 
pairs, I saw to-day. At seven p.m. the captain g^'-e 
me the second cutter with six hands, to pull along the 
edge of the ice, whilst the ship was tacking off and 
on ; when 1 shot four more, two at one shot, and 
also a while petrel. I had thus an opportunity afforded 
me of landing on a piece of Antarctic ice for the first 
time, to pick up a penguin. An opening in the ice to 
the southward appearing in our favour, the recall pen- 
nant was hoisted, and I returned on board at eight 


-^ *k^ 






:e to 



/// open Water aj^ain. 


p.m. This evening I saw a gigantic petrel, and two 
stormy petrels of a larger size than the common kind ; 
they flew very high, hovering like swallows or martins 
over the mast-head. 

Saturday, gtli. — On going on deck after breakfast this 
morning I found the ship laying her course to the south- 
ward, in a clear, open sea with a strong breeze, going 
four knots. We have now run about 134 miles through 
the pack. " Billy," our young goat, the sailor's pet, 
exhibited a very ludicrous performance on the quarter- 
deck last night, staggering about and committing the 
greatest absurdities, whilst under the influence of some 
port wine which had been given him in the gun-room, and 
he has consequently been all day stowed away in his cask 
on the starboard-si('e of the quarter-deck, paying the 
usual penance for hi^ debauchery. 

Blowing a fresh gale, with the ship rolling heavily and 
thick weather. I heard the hoarse, harsh " Qua" of the 
penguin above the howling of the gale, as they passed 
alongside during the night. Many of the dark petrel, 
with the white wing-coverts, flying about us. Very un- 
expectedly during the first watch I found our poor young 
goat " Billy " dying. 

Sunday, lot/i. — At eight a.m. we attained the seventieth 
degree of latitude. Gale abated; sea gone down, and 
quite free from ice, not a particle anywhere to be seen. I 
saw three or four penguins in a group, several white and 
other petrel, a large grey one, and a solitary stormy petrel. 
We are now in the longitude of 1 74° 43.' 

Yesterday there was a continuous fall of very small, 
fine snow for twenty-hours. This large space of open 
water occurring in so high a latitude looks very promising 
for us — may it continue to the Pole, or a continent 
discovered ! 


J. . 












-A ^ ■ I 

' .Mumjj mi rm m» u i M tm 


Voyages of Discovery. 





Discovery of a southern continent — My first view— Take sketches — 
We land on Possession Island — Penguins by the million — We hoist 
the Pritish flag— Return to the ships — A magnificent scene — High 
peaks — Mounts Sabine and Ilerschell— Within 500 miles of the 
Magnetic Pole — Mount Melbourne— Franklin Island, &c. 

Mouday, January wilt, 1841. — At the early hour of 
2 30 a.m., of the middle watch, land was reported ahead 
froin the " crow's nest," and little more than an hour 
afterwards, at 3.45, the officer of the watch called me, as 
all the officers in charge of the different watches were so 
well aware of my habit of coming on deck at any hour of 
the twenty-hour, day or night, to take sketches of any land 
of interest in sight, or objects of natural history worthy 
of record ; and upon such an announcement as this, in the 
very high latitude we were in, it may be well imagined not 
a moment was lost in the present instance on my part in 
leaving my comfortable bed, even in such a climate as 
this, tor the deck. 

This newly-discovered land at first appeared very 
indistinctly through a light haze, and a few light clouds 
skirling the horizon. It was best seen on the port-bow, 
where I could just trace the faint outline of a somewhat 
conical summit of a lofty mountain, having a steep escarp- 
ment, longitudinally streaked white with snow. After 
the lapse of about an hour it became so intermingled 
with the hazy, cloudy horizon, as to give rise to doubts 
in ilie minds of some as to its being in reality land at all. 

'■\ \ 

Sabine, -nt- Eastern side of ihe roounlain first seen. 



Vincent Brooki, Day & Son, Liih. 

PAG* IJtt— vol I. 


. I 


W r 


i i;, 

I i 

^ 111 , 



K McCormick, R.N., del. 

Mount Herschel. 

Cape McC 

R. McCormick, R.N., del. 

Mount Melbourne, or Crater Peak, and the land between Mounts Herschel and Erebus, Jam 

/' -» 'i* 

4 \ 

■■• ( 

^"^"^ Cape McCormick, 

Mount Sabine. 

Possession Island in Lat. 71° 56' S. 

■ ' ......... 3.f^^-^_... 


i1i ■/ ^^ • -f 

. . . ..4^ ... .. 

''-'..;;, V. 


•■; ■■•■■■•:'":'/•' 

■ ^, V- •/ •f^V'^vi'''-''^^^"-'' 


M. "L 


R. McCormick, R.N., del. 






A . .^' 

Lat, 71*" 56' S. 

I -■ . s^ 

^^ — 


,ji«:.'«w«*(P ■ 



bk. R.N., del. 

First appearance of the land trending westward, January I 


Eastern side of the mountain first seen. 


Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Lith. 

nding westward, January llth, 1841. 

PACB 150— VOL I. 

U !! 

• ' ■« 


Discovery of the SotUhern Continent. 


At nine a.m., however, when I again saw it, it had become 
sufficiently well defined and clear in outline to enable me 
to get a sketch of it. It extended from S.E. by S. to 
S.W, by S. ; very high, and enveloped in a mantle of 
snow, except the lower portions of the steep escarpment 
rising above the sea, and these were black, where not 
longitudinally streaked with snow ; but the whole of the 
upper part of this vast mountain range was an entire 
gUiciation beneath a white mantle of snow, relieved only 
at intervals by the dark apex of some hummock or 
projecting mountain peak, peering through the snow-clad 
mantle. The weather was all that could be desired for 
giving effect to such a magnificent panorama, as gradually 
unfolded itself like a dissolving view to our astonished 
eyes. The sky was a clear azure blue, with the most 
brilliant sunshine; the thermometer at 31°, with a fresh 
breeze from the westward. The refraction in the atmo- 
sphere caused the land to appear visible at a much greater 
distance, for we were all day standing in towards it. The 
northern side, which we were approaching, presented a very 
remarkable appearance: a cluster of white, angular-shaped 
hummocks or small peaks in the background, resembling 
a vast mass of crystallization, having a steep wall or 
escarpment of black rock like lava in the foreground next 
the sea, near which several large icebergs lay aground, 
and evidently had bejn separated from the barrier, for 
where the land trended to the south-east, a whole line of 
them were in process of formation, and off which a small 
island with several rocks are grouped, from which a 
narrow stream of ice extends out to seaward. We tacked 
ship during the first watch ; and at eleven p.m. I 
got another sketch of the coast. Saw several birds 
about — a stormy petrel, a gigantic petrel, a white petrel, 
a pintado, and some penguins. The latitude at noon 
was 71° 14' 45'', and longitude 171° 15', consequently 
we are now beyond Captain Cook's farthest, and have 

? ! 

. II 

' r 

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) ; 
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1 1 ' 






Voyages of Discovery. 

discovered a new land, of so extensive a range of coast- 
line, attaining such an altitude, as to justify, from its 
general aspect, the appellation of a " Southern Continent," 
in the highest latitude within the Antarctic Circle yet 
known, and we have now but Weddell's track to get 

TucsdiJV, 12///. — At 9.50 a.m. I accompanied Captain 
Ross and some others of the officers in the cutter to 
take possession of the land, landing on an islet lying off 
the mainland, which was christened " Possession Island." 
Abernethy, Captain Ross's old follower, and our gunner 
and ice-master, steered the boat as coxswain. It was a 
long pull along shore, tossed about by the swell amongst 
the ice, in a fruitless attempt to reach a projecting head- 
land against a strong current setting us into the bight 
amid a great ice-ripple, so that we were obliged to bear 
up and run through an opening in the ice to leeward, a 
perfect race, so rapid that had the water been shallow 
enough to ground the boat, she would have been upset 
instantly. The margin or ice- foot on which we at last 
effected a landing took us upon a nearly level surface, a 
guano-bed in fact, formed by a colony of penguins for 
ages past. It had attained such a depth as to give an 
elastic sensation under the feet, resembling a dried-up 
peat-bog. It would afford valuable cargoes of guano for 
whole fleets of ships for years to come, could they only 
peneirate the vast packs of ice we have just forced our 
way through at such risk, and which constitute an impass- 
able barrier to ships as they are ordinarily constructed. 

The penguins indeed, with their young all covered with 
down, formed such a rookery here, that the whole place 
and sea around seemed alive with them. In such count- 
less myriads were they congregated, not only over the 
incubation area below, but up the sides of the black lava 
rocks in tier above tier to the very summit, which attained 
the height of 300 feet, flanking the guano-bed on the 


r: i 

Pcuguin Rookery on Possession Island. 153 

riijht, that it was like a tliistle-bcd to pass through, so 
thickly formed were their ranks, and without kicking them 
to right and left there was no getting through their dense 
legions. The old birds stoutly defended their young, 
attacking the intruder on their domain in front and rear 
with open mouth, sending forth at the same time such 
harsh notes of defiance, in which the whole colony 
united in concert, that we could scarcely hear each other 
speak so as to be understood. These sturdy, bold birds,' 
standing erect on their tails, with the horny feathers of 
both head and neck ruflRed in anger, their flipper-like 
wings extended from their sides, looked altogether the 
most ludicrous and grotesque objects imaginable. 

In many places the young birds were grouped together 
in knots of a dozen or two, encircled by the old birds, 
forming a barrier around them. 

Not a single specimen of an egg was to be found, the 
season of incubation having already passed. On taking 
tlie water they slide down the icy margin of the ice-foot 
on their tails and the soles of their feet, dashing into the 
sea with only their heads appearing above the surface, 
some leaping out like bonilo in pursuit of flying fish ; and 
I observed one bird make a most extraordinary leap up- 
wards from the sea to the top of a perpendicular piece of 
ice, certainly not less than a fathom in height above the 
water, alighting on its feet like a cat. The perfume 
arising from this colony was certainly not of an Arabian 
sweetness, for even before the boat reached the shore the 
scent wafted off upon the waters was all but stifling. 
The population of this colony might be estimated by 
millions. Some of the old birds had their breasts stained 
red, as if from blood at first sight, but which I subse- 
quently found arose from their resting on their breasts 
upon their excrement, which was frequently tinted of a 
red colour. I noticed several small heaps of pebbles 
about the size of a nest amongst the birds, which I could 

i\ \ 

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Voyages of Discovery. 


■ \ !. 




only account for by supposing they had been rejed 
from their stomachs, as I have often found the sto 
of the penguins, whose skins I have preserved, frfltNpt 
pebbles, as in the seals. The mature bird weighs about 
lo lbs., the upper surface of the body being of a dark 
greyish ash colour, and approaching to black in some 
instances, with the under surface white ; beak and under 
the chin black ; legs of a pale flesh colour. 

Several lestrises, and apparently a new species, had 
taken up their residence in the midst of the colony, and 
from their incessantly sweeping overhead on wing, and 
alighting amongst the penguins, would also appear to 
have their own young there. I shot one flying overheard, 
and knocked down an old penguin with my geological 
hammer, and put him in my haversack for the collection, 
with a few hastily collected specimens of the black lava 
rock. The only other bird I saw flying about the island 
was the gigantic petrel. I did not observe the faintest 
trace of vegetation, not so much as a lichen on the bare 
volcanic rocks, or even a seaweed on the shoal. But our 
stay was so brief — only some twenty five minutes — in 
consequence of the threatening aspect of the weather, 
that I had barely time to cross over the penguin rookery 
to the base of the black lava mount, which I was just 
about ascending when my recall was made. 

After the flag was unfurled, hoisted, and the queen's 
health drunk in a glass of ' v by each of the party, 
three cheers were given on ' ,.g possession of the land, 
no less a domain than a continent, in all probability 
exceeding in magnitude the continents of either the Old 
or the New World, ir the name of her Majesty. Its 
productions are indeed only ice and guano. We shoved 
off from this lone islet in the boat at 11.15 a.m , with 
the Terror's boat in company, containing her captain 
and some of her officers, who had landed after us. 

To avoid the race on returning, we pulled round the 


/^ Hv^^^ ^rftvH/»U, HotxUuA 4 4^ yA«^' 

' i 

).*»J^ \k:^4^^ e^^f.^Aw vyi^^l- 


y/'^/^S'v/.v*^?^" /^^^ 




. I ; f 







il, . 






I 1' 

( * 't 


■ '<! .• Ml 


a :. I 



!. fi 

' iH 

A Fingal's Cave in miniature. 


island, in by the bluff, black headland, passing several 
isolated rocks, some seven in all ; one likened to a 
leaning tower, another of a rhomboidal form, and a 
massive black, circular rock, somewhat resembling a 
martello tower, with a hole through its base, vaulted over. 
On this side of the islet a perpendicular wall of basalt 
or lava faces the sea, and it has been worn smooth 
at its base, and to a considerable height above it by the 
action of the waves and the ice. 

There is a beautiful cavern in the face of the rock, 
with a fine display of columnar basalt, quite a Fingal's 
Cave in miniature. The columns all most symmetri- 
cally vertical. In several places the rocks were per- 
forated with caves. The summit of the island, in one 
bearing, resembles a bishop's mitre, and on this side two 
very remarkable projections of rock were compared to 
human forms, seated in front of a battlement, to which 
we at once gave the name of Victoria and Albert, as 
presiding over the new land we have been so fortunate 
to add to their dominions, now ranging from pole to pole. 
The former figure seemed draped in something like a 
veil, and the latter in a cloak. When we had rounded 
the Circular Rock, we got sight of the Terror^ more than 
hull down, to windward, and on further pulling round a 
large berg forming on this side of the island, we opened 
the Erebus, but also at some distance from us. The 
weather now wore a very threatening aspect, black clouds 
rising in the horizon, with every appearance of blowing 
a: a ihick weather coming on, rendering our position a 
somewhat perilous one. The " Mother Cary's chicken," 
ill-omened bird of the Scorm, and a lestris were inces- 
santly flying over our heads, the latter so near it might 
have been knocked down by a stone or an oar. Doubt- 
less we were as great a mystery to these lone denizens of 
the southern pole as Cook's ships were to the South Sea 
Islanders in the last century. 

n , , 


!■ ■ 

lii .i 

i 'i 1 

i . 


I 'ovaots of Discovery 


The Erebus soon discovered our position, and at once 
bore up, standing towards us, and the Terror shortly 
afterwards followed her example. We got on bo;ird at 
12.45, "1"^''"' ^'lated by our excursion, soon after which it 
came on so thick and foggy, with a fall of snow, that we 
wholly lost sigl-.t of the land, which would have been 
anything but pleasant for us had we been still in the 


In the evening saw large flights of the pintado, as 
many as from 200 to 300 in a flock, passing the ship 
with a white pe'.rel or two. Air keen, with the thermo- 
meter at 30°, wind N.W., latitude at noon 71° 51', longi- 
tude 170^ 52'. 

Wednesday, 13///, and Thursday, \^th. — Blowing a 
south-easterly gale, with cloudy and thick weather, and 
small snow at times, preventing any further communica- 
tion with the land for the present. Ship rolling a great 
deal in a short, broken sea. Pintados flying around the 
ship in great numbers, with a white petrel or two. Saw 
two or three large whales blowing within a hundred yards 
of the ship. Employed to-day and yesterday skinning 
birds, penguins, white petrel, anci lestris. Thermometer 
29°, latitude at noon 71° 51', longitude 172° 50'. 

Friday, \^tli. — Beating to windward off the islands 
all day. Strong breezes, weather remarkably fine, with 
a clear blue sky and bright sun. I took several sketches 
from the stern-boat, of this wonderful land. The southern- 
most headland in sight presented a very bold aspect. 
The lofty, magnificent-looking coast-line appeared to a 
great advantage this evening, standing out in such strong 
relief against the clear blue forming the background. The 
thickly grouped, angular-shaped, small peaKS, or hum- 
mocks, clad in snow of the purest white, the whole resem- 
bling a vast mass of crystallization, but on such a huge 
and splendid scale, as nature's laboratory alone could pro-, 
duce. The highest peaks, majestically towering above 

Moi^nifiicnt Mountain Range. 


a stratum of light, fleecy, white clouds, reflected the rays 
of the setting, or rather declining, sun — (for that lumi- 
nary here now never sets throughout the whole twenty- 
four hours) — upon the facets of the angles on which 
it fell with a pure and silvery light, whilst the others 
were thrown into the deepest shade, at once displaying 
the continuity of outline of the mountain range, unfolding 
and bringing into view the minutest irregularity of the 
surface, whether eminences or depressions. Saw a 
large berg in shore, which had only separated from the 
land-ice this morning, and in capsizing had showed 
the rock and soil attached to it uppermost. We 
passed a thin stratum of widely scattered small bits of 
ice ; a gigantic petrel and some pintados flying about 
the ship. Latitude 71° 56', longitude 171° 51', thermo- 
meter 31°, wind south-easterly. 

Saiiifday, \6tli. — Gained but little to windward of the 
islands since yesterday. 

Sunday, i 7///, — Still beating to windward. Saw this 
evening another headland to windward, extending out to 
the southward, which I had observed, though less dis- 
tinctly, last night, having a trending-in of the coast 
between it and the bluff cape which has been so long in 
sight to windward. In the first watch I had a fine view 
of the mountain peaks. The angles taken gave to the 
highest peak an altitude of 8444 feet. In latitude 
72° 10', longitude 174° 23', thermometer 28° Fahr. 

Monday, i8th. — Cloudy, but fine day, with a moderate 
breeze and smooth water. Loom of the land barely 
visible, and not a particle of ice about us. Saw a white 
petrel, and many pintados. The beautiful crystal-shaped 
mountain peak has an altitude of 7867 feet, which, with 
the barn-shaped mountain, forms the most striking 
elevations of the whole of this wide mountain range. 
Latitude 72° 57' 59", longitude 176° 5' 57", thermometer 
30°, wind southerly. On first making this land the 



I i^ I It 

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Voyaj^es of Discovery. 




iii '1 


angles taken gave to the highest summit an altitude of 
9096 feet. This afternoon I shot two pintados from the 
deek, from near the fore-rigging, both to windward. The 
first bird fell when the ship was on the starboard-tack, 
striking the gunwale just abaft the main-rigging, and 
bounding overboard. The second biid was flying before 
me, when on the port-tack, hovering over the fore- 
topsail yard, falling to leeward on the forecastle, and 
was picked up by one of the crew, and brought to me. 
It proved to be the young and immature Procellaria 
cupcnsis, and the first specimen I have hitherto been 
able to obtain. I have been thus minute in whal may 
appear trifling details under the impression that it may 
prove of service to others, who may hereafter be placed 
under similar circumstances as myself, with a desire to 
secure rare or new species of birds, with no boat with 
which they could be picked up. During the first watch, 
whilst on the port-tack, I shot a white petrel, which, in 
falling, struck against the main-sail, and fell on deck to 
leeward, the best specimen I have as yet succeeded 
in thus obtaining. At eleven p.m. I saw the land very 
distinctly on the lee-bow. The night fine, with a clear 
blue sky. At midnight, when I left the deck, the sun 
was about three degrees above the horizon. Our 
observations gave latitude 76^^ south, longitude 145° 20' 
east, placing the magnetic pole 500 miles south-west 
of us. 

Tuesday, 19///. — A lovely day for these regions, indeed 
for any climate, the sun shining forth from a clear blue 
sky, and we were becalmed at noon in smooth water. The 
thermometer 32°, above which it rarely indeed rises within 
the Antarctic circle. But the atmosphere seems as mild, 
pleasant, and congenial as on the finest May day in 
England. We heard the loud, harsh cry of the penguin 
— " Qua, qua " — to windward, and a seal rose forty or fifty 
yards on the starboard side of the ship. We are standing 

i. w 

Croivding all sail to the Southward. 


in for the land, its magnificent mountain outline pre- 
sented to the eye a wonderful scene of beauty, as the 
highest peak stood out in fine relief against the deep 
azure sky. As the day wore on, in the afternoon a fine 
northerly breeze sprang up, after having had a week of 
southerly winds to check us, off this newly-discovered 

Both ships now crowded on all sail for the southward, 
in the 73° of latitude, under studding-sails, low and aloft, 
on both sides, from the two large lower studding-sails to 
topgallant and royals ; and under this tower of canvas 
the old ship only made five knots along the land. Several 
lestrises flying about us, and, during the first watch, a few 
of the immature petrels, and a white petrel. I shot and 
secured one of the former from the quarter-deck boat, 
on the port side, and it fell into the quarter-boat on the 
same side. When I went below at 12.45 t'^^- -"J" 
appeared like a beautiful, bright, white globe, about 
three or four degrees above the horizon, on the port 
side. An island was visible on the starboard-bow. 
Latitude at noon 72° 31', longitude 172° 49'. 

Wednesday^ 20th. — Cloudy, overcast, gloomy day, 
with variable winds, and making but little progress to the 
southward. The land, for the most part, enveloped in 
clouds. We were abeam of a bold, black headland for 
most of the day. A stream of ice skirted the horizon. 
Thermometer 31°, latitude 73° 47', longitude 171° 50', 
Captain Ross to-day gave me some specimens of red 
coral and shells, brought up with the dredge-net, from a 
depth of 270 fathoms, when sounding yesterday at 
two p.m., in latitude 72° 31', longitude 172° 7'. 

Thursday^ 21st. — This forenoon, the same dark, bluff 
headland seen yesterday appeared through the haze and 
clouds to-day, bearing W.N.W., with some white snowy 
peaks, having the appearance of land in the E.N.E. on 
weather beam. Weather gloomy, with a few flakes of 



r()yoi;cs of Discovery. 


small snow fallinj,^ ab(Hit noon. The pack seen from the 

masl-head to the southward and westward. Durin^r the 

first watch two lestrises passed the ship. In the cahn the 

water had an undulating' dti-p blue appearance, from the 

intensity of the tint of blue in the sky overhead. At 

midnight the sun looked unusually brii^ht, being about 

three degrees above the horizon in the K.S.I':., bearing 

S. 70" V^. The land ai)pearing like an island bore from 

S.S.W. to W.S.W.; latitude 74", longitude 170° 43', 

thermometer 30". 

Friday, 2ind. — Fine morning; the bluff headland still 
in sight ; wind easterly, thermometer 31", latitude 73° 56', 
longitude 172" 20'. As night closed in we saw the last of 
the land at a longdistance astern, the sun at the time 
shining brightly on it. 

Saturday, 2yd. — Thick weather, with snow, blowing 
fresh, and a short head-sea. Our latitude at noon, by 
dead reckoning, made us to the southward of Wed- 
dell's farthest south, and consequently nearer to the 
South Pole than any other ship has hitherto attained ; 
Weddell's farthest being in latitude 74° 15', ours 74° 23' 
D.R., in the longitude of 175° 35' E. Captain Ross, on 
the occasion, spent the evening in the gun-room with us, 
and our toast was ' Better luck still." Thermometer 
30°, wind N.E. Captain Ross gave me some medusae 
brought up in the dredge from a depth of 300 fathoms 
in the last middle watch. 

Monday, 25///. — A fine clear day, but the air very chilly, 
the thermometer being down to 27*^ at noon, with southerly 
wind ; land just visible on the lee-bow, with a very high 
peak faintly outlined on the weather-quarter. The 
pack was also visible, and at eight p.m., when I went 
on deck, we were standing along the pack edge, which 
was backed by a mountain range. One lofty peak, 
named Mount Melbourne, not measured (magnetic dip 
88° 10') but supposed to be the highest land, evidently 

I' 'I 

Off Mount Mc/doiinii', 


from its form had been a volcanic vent to this land. 
Its symmetrically and perfectly shaped crater at the 
summit, and altogether fine outline, could not have been 
surpassed even by Mount Etna or Vesuvius, as it reared 
its towering head above the mist which concealed most 
of the surrounding land, comparatively nmch lower, and 
Hanking its conical peak on either side. Beyond, and to 
the right, the land again rose to a considerable altitude, 
and still farther to the N.N.W., another apparently in- 
sulated group of mountains appeared. About 8.20 we 
went about amongst some loose straggling ice. The 
main pack seemed to be formed of heavy masses and 
closely packed, more so than any we have hitherto met 
with, extending along a whole line of coast like a belt. 
1 took a sketch of the land, and during the first watch 
I went up into the fore-top, to have a look at the moun- 
tains from an elevated position. The night was fine, 
with a clear blue sky and keen air ; I shot three white 
petrel Hying over the mast-head, two of them fell on 
board, which I secured, and the third but narrowly 
escaped me, a gust of wind just carrying it over the 
stern. The first one, which fell into the main-top, had a 
good-sized fish in its mouth, much resembling a pilchard, 
but its head was gone. The second one fell into the 
port quarter-boat, and I gave it to Captain Ross. 
Several more were flying about the ship. At midnight 
Captain Ross took an altitude of the sun, which was 
shining brightly about three degrees and a half above 
the horizon, and found the latitude to be 74° 45'. I turned 
in at one a.m. 

Tuesday, 26th. — Cold, raw, gloomy day, with a short 
head-sea and southerly wind ; thermometer 25", latitude 
75° 2' 38", longitude 169° 4', land very indistinctly seen. 

Wednesday, 2'jth — Fine day; this forenoon an island 
appeared on the starboard-bow to windward, and the ship 
was hove-to off it at five p.m. The secor,\d cutter was 

VOL. I. M 

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Voyaqcs of Dhcovery. 

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lowered, and Captain Ross, with a party of oflTicers, 
landed upon it, at the same time with a boat from the 
Terror^ with her captain and some of her officers. An 
accident, however, happened to Dr. Hooker, the assistant- 
surgeon of the Erebus^ who fell into the water in attempt- 
ing to land from the boat, consequently he with others 
were not permitted to leave the boat at all, and Captain 
Ross himself landed with the Terror s officers. Po.-session 
of the island was taken in the customary way, when it 
was christened Franklin Island. Both boats returned 
to the Erebus at 8.40 p.m., and the Terror s boat 
did not leave with her party for thtir own ship until 
1,30 a.m. 

Franklin Island is purely volcanic, being composed of 
lava, and having a large berg forming at its southern 
extremity, with another large, square-topped island of 
ice lying at a short distance off it, aground ; latitude 
75° 48', longitude 168° 10', thermometer 24°, wind S. 

It is with regret that I should have occasion here to 
allude to the circumstance of a very injudicious order 
of Captain Ross's in a voyage like ours ; nor should I, 
but for its prejudicial effects in the results on the col- 
lection, as the sequel will show. This order forbade the 
ships being left without a medical officer on board of 
each, however near to each other or the land. 

I do not hesitate to say that many highly interesting 
observations, both in natural history and geography and 
the collateral sciences, in a newly discovered land, in so 
high a latitude as we have had the good fortune to 
attain, and which may perchance never be again visited, 
have been lost to the world, through this ill-timed order. 
And notwithstanding my having had some personal in- 
fluence with Captain Ross, both of us having served 
together as youths under our mutual old commander and 
friend. Sir Edward Parry, I could not induce him to 
cancel any order he had once placed in the order-book, 

I m 

An injudicious Order. 


so strong were his prejudices, and as a sequence so 
difficult to reason with. One medical officer left with 
the ships, as I pointed out to him, would be a sufficient 
guarantee in the remote chance of any accident liappening 
on board during so short an interval of time. 

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I'eak of Mount Kicbus, 120 miles distant. {SW />ay 176.) 

chapti<:r XV. 

The volcanic niouiitains " Krehus " and " Tenor '—Great barrier of ice 
— 'I'he Barrier Biglit— A fascinating scene — Twenty- four hours on 
deck — Seals and whales — Kxploration of NIcMurdo Hay. 

Thufscfay, Janunry 28/ Ii, 1841.— We were startled by 
the most unexpected discovery, in this vast region of 
glaciation, of a stupendous volcanic mountain in a high 
state of activity. At ten a.m., upon going on deck, my 
attention was arrested by what appeared at the moment 
to be a fine snowdrift, driving from the summit of a 
lofty crater-shaped peak, rising from the centre of an 
island (apparently) on the starboard-bow. 

As we made a nearer approach, however, this apparent 
srowdrift resolved itself into a dense column of black 
smoke, intermingled with flashes of red flame emerging 
from a magnificent volcanic vent, so near the South 
Pole, and in the very centre of a mighty mountain range 
encased in eternal ice and snow. 

The peak itself, which rises to the altitude of 12,400 
feet above the level of the sea, is situated in the lati- 


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of M< 



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1 ' ; I 

Vincent Brooks, Day ft Son, Lith- 

PAfiK 164— vol.. I. ( 

C ■■4»':- 

R. Mccormick, k.iN., del. 


R. McCgrmick, R.N., del 

View of the mounta 







Commencement of the Great Barrier from the terminal cape of Mount Terror an extinct volcano, anH Mount Erebus still in a state of high activity in Lat. 77= 


fc*(a»«a*^.» 1 • V,. , .1, 

View of the mountain range 


of extinct volcanic cones (much resembling the extinct craters of Auvergne, in central France, only glaciated), forming the starboard side of McM 

^r III 







high activity in Lat. 77° 31', Long. 167° i' Enst. January aSth, 1841. 



■ ■ I- 

'■^■•^■:>'- ' l^^'Z^:^., 


lie starboard side of McMurdo Bay, and nearest to the Magnetic Pole, February 17th, 1841. 

Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Litn 

PAGB 164— vol.. I. 



Discovery of Mounts Erebus and Terror. 165 

lude of 77° 31' S., and in longitude 167" i' K., and \vas 
named after our ship, Mount Erebus. Adjacent to it, 
and only separated by a saddle of ice-clad land on its 
east, arose a sister mountain to the height of 10,900 feet, 
but now extinct, though having the same general outline, 
also doubtless belched forth at no very distant period 
its volumes, of smoke and flame. It received the 
name of Mount Terror, after that of our consort. Its 
sides were partially covered with snow, presenting the 
appearance of having been melted in many of the depres- 
sions on its sides, and again frozen into pools, glittering 
lil<e molten metal in the sun's rays, and extending down 
the sides of the mountain, in a broken serpentine stream 
to the great wall of ice, which extends from its base, 
forming a point or cape. This sea-wall, having a per- 
perdicular face and tabular summit, averages. 150 feet 
in altitude, with caverns hollowed out by the constant 
action of the waves, producing a remarkable effect of 
light and shade along its whole margin which extends in 
a south-easterly and north-westerly direction, and along 
which our course lay to the southward, between it and 
the pack. 

On the starboard beam another small island appeared, 
bearing south, which received the name of Beaufort 
Island, after our excellent and talented hydrographer 
to the Admiralty, Sir Francis Beaufort. There was ali;o 
an appearance of land broad on the port bow. At five 
p.m. I went up to the crow's-nest, but could perceive no 
termination to the great ice-wail, which we have named 
the Great Southern Barrier, and barring our way to the 
pole. We are shaping a N.W. course along it, distant, 
perhaps, three or four leagues. A number of white petrel, 
and now and then a solitary lestris of predatory habits, 
like its congener the Skua gull of the north, have 
been the companions of our voyage for the last few days. 
Weather very fine and clear, thermometer 29° ; wind S.W., 

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1 66 

Voyn/it'x of Discovery. 

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latitude 76" 57'; lonKitudc 169^ 24' 50" K. ; ship undtT 
studding and topgallant sails. 

Sntunioy, 30///. — Yesterday we ran parallel with the 
harrier, hut to-day a ehangc in the wind, and the weather 
beeoniing thiek and gloomy, with a fall of small snow, 
compelled us to stand to the northward, and to relin- 
quisii, for the present, the following up the course of the 
barrier. There was neither land nor ice in sight to-day, 
thermometer 28', latitude 77° 35' I). R., longitude i8i° 
20'. We have followed this lofty barrier of steep and 
perpendicular ice-cliffs, varying in height from 100 or 150 
to 200 and 300 feet, for upwards of 100 miles. The 
depth 410 fathoms; the lead in sounding sank at least 
two feet in soft green mud, seemed to indicate that the 
outer edge of the barrier could not be attached to the 
bottom, but must be bonic •.'•d« by the water. The 

high land forming the background of the barrier, being 
the southernmost known land, was named after our 
worthy old arctic chief, Sir Edward Parry, the Parry 

TuesihiVy February 2nd. — A beautiful day, with bright 
sunshine, quite congenial to our feelings. At noon the 
clear, blue sea was as smooth as a mirror from the calm 
reigning. Only a solitary berg just visible, through the 
light haze skirting the horizon on the port beam. In the 
evening we made the loose stream-ice, and our old ac- 
quaintance the fixed barrier again, appearing beyond the 
stream of ice or pack, like a long, low cloud skirting the 
horizon to the eastward. We entered the pack with light 
northerly winds, then bore up and got out of it again. 
A whale hove in sight and a gigantic petrel, with a white 
one or two. At the time we wore ship, 9.15 p.m., our lati- 
tude was 78° 3' 6'' S. and longitude 187° E., the barrier 
being about fifteen miles distant, extending from about 
S. to N.N.E., skirted along its whole length by loose ice, 
preventing us from making any further attempt in this 


Three large Penguins caught. 


quarter. We got soundings in 260 fathoms, green mud 
and clay. The height of the barrier was here 160 
fett, its thickness probably 1000 feet, extending 250 
miles from the cape at the foot of Mount Terror ; the 
face of the barrier here being in the latitude 78^° S. 

Thursday, ^tli. — Employed all day sailing through loose 
ice, working the ship between some very heavy masses 
in the narrow lanes of water. The pack is studded with 
several bergs. Saw three seals on the ice, and three or 
four of the largest kind of penguin, with several white 
petrel. This has been the coldest day we have yet ex- 
perienced, but nevertheless fine, with a clear, blue sky, 
appearing through the white curdled clouds of the brightest 
and purest azure. As the day closed in, the whole scene 
presented a remarkably wild aspect, the bright " ice- 
blink," which lighted up the horizon in the direction of 
the barrier, which itself was not visible, was streaked 
longitudinally with the dark rays proceeding from the 
lower margin of a super-imposed bank of clouds, which 
rose thick and dark to windward, and threatened a heavy 
fall of snow, or thick, overcast weather. The thermo- 
meter at noon was only 22°, at nine p.m. it was 16°, and 
at midnight fell to 15°, the lowest that we have had it 
yet. A fine working southerly breeze blowing. Latitude 
'■,f o 17" S., longitude 192° 18' E. At eight o'clock 
last evening we hove overboard a cask containing a 
paper, with our latitude and longitude, when farthest 
south, signed by the captain and officers. It floated 
lightly and buoyantly astern, a very conspicuous object 
in this waste of waters and ice; in latitude 77° o' S., 
longitude 187° 24' E, 

Friday, 5///. — Sailing amongst loose ice mixed with 
some heavy masses. Three of the large kind of penguins 
were caught after having been wounded by small shot on 
a piece of ice from the boat, two weighing 66 lbs. each, 
and the third 57 lbs. Saw two whales spouting. At 

IM 'i 

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1 68 

Voyages of Discovery 




eight p.m. the ship was made fast to a piece of ice, and 
the cutter lowered to get some ice on board. At ten 
p.m. hoisti^d in cutter, and cast off from piece of ice, with 
about three tons on board, to replenish our tanks with 
water. At eleven the boat was again lowered and two 
very pretty seals with small heads and noses were taken 
from a piece of ice. The thermometer had fallen from 
\^^ at noon to 13", wind S., latitude 77° 10' 32" S., longi- 
tude 192" 48' 10" \i. 

Monday^ %tli. — I'or the last two or three days we have 
been beating up for the pack-edge in an open sea, having 
only a berg or two in sight, with several whales. To- 
day, at five p.m., the barrier was seen from the mast- 
head during the first watch, as we sailed between the pack 
and the barrier. 

As we ran for some 160 miles along the barrier, 
we discovered that a whole chain of table-topped bergs, 
shed from the barrier iuelf, had grounded on a bank 
about sixty miles distant from its edge and 200 miles 
from its origin at Cape Crozier, the bergs being from 
150 to 200 feet in height. 

Tuesday, gth. — The wondrous scene nature has un- 
folded here, even beyond what might have been anti- 
cipated in this land of wonderment, has had the effect 
of riveting me to the deck for the last twenty-four hours, 
a volunteer and most willing sharer in the duties of 
every officer of the watches during that period. Last 
night, after sounding in 275 fathoms green mud, the 
barrier at midnight was seven miles distant, its ex- 
tremes bearing from S.E. to N. \ W., and the line 
of the pack-ice from S.W. J S. to N.N.W. A W. 
Being myself most anxious to trace this mighty wall 
of ice continuously without a break so as to see all I 
could of it, I never turned in at all, but kept the deck 
throughout the night, a night never to be effaced from 
memory's tablet to the latest hour of existence ; and well 

\t ;H 


The Harrier Jii'ghi a j^rand siine. 


was I rewarded for the temporary saerifice of a night's 
rest and sleep by the grand and sublime panorama which 
was unfolded to and arrested my gaze like some striking 
shifting scene on the stage, as the " noon-day " night of 
this high latitude wore on, and scene succeeded scene in 
nature's unrivalled display of her great Creator's works. 

The night, so-called, although in fact day here, was 
indeed most favourable, being remarkably fine, the azure 
blue of the sky above was mottled over with curdled 
white, light cumuli, a mackerel sky in short. To wind- 
ward the moon's pale, silvery disc every now and then 
emerged from beneath the clouds on the port beam, 
whilst the brighter rays from the glorious sun clearly 
indicated its position behind a bank of cirro-stratus on 
the starboard beam to leeward. We were sailing along 
a channel bounded on the starboard by the barrier, and 
on the port side by the heavy pack, passing through a 
quantity of young ice in streams varying in breadth, 
their outlines marked by a deeper shade of colour than 
the surrounding water. Each piece of ice assumed what 
we called the pancake ice, in form and size, having the 
margin slightly elevated and turned up, the pieces thickly 
packed together, some streams consisting of larger and 
more irregular-shaped masses, oblong, oval, and of 
irregular, hexagonal figures, from a foot to three or four 
feet in diameter, lined as if from several smaller ones 
having become cemented together. 

Anxious to obtain what I believed to be a new species 
of the lestris, more especially from so deeply interesting 
a locality as the great ice-barrier in the highest latitude 
we have attained, I fired at one hovering over the 
starboard quarter about midnight, but having only 
wounded it, it escaped after tumbling over and over in 
its descent to nearly as low as the quarter-deck boat, 
then recovering itself somewhat, flew in a direct line for 
the barrier, with one leg hanging down broken. This 

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Voyages of Discovery. 




was a source of double vexation to me, first, in the loss 
of so desirable an addition to the ornithological collec- 
tion ; and lastly, in subjecting the poor bird perhaps to a 
lingering death from any internal wound it might have 

For notwithstanding that my duties as ornithologist 
compel me to take the lives of these most beautiful and 
interesting creatures of all the works of their great 
Creator, I never do so without a sharp sting of pain and 
qualm of conscience, so fond am I of all the feathered race. 
But as we have to sacrifice their lives for our food, we 
cannot do otherwise than meet the claims of science in 
the same spirit. Beyond this, all wanton destruction of 
these charming creatures is highly censurable. 

Between midnight and one a.m. I succeeded in adding 
two more of the elegant white petrel to my collection, 
one falling dead on the quarter-deck, and the other on 
the gun-room skylight, having fired at each when hover- 
ing in a very favourable direction over the mast-head. 
A third I shot unfortunately proved a life uselessly taken, 
as it fell overboard into the sea to leeward. At 2.30a.m. 
I saw a seal swimming on the starboard quarter. During 
the middle watch the extreme point of the barrier was 
obscured in mist, and the pack lying to the left of it had 
an apparent opening between. We passed inside of two 
large bergs and the barrier. A berg or two, with several 
large pieces of ice like obelisks, studded the monotonous 
surface of the pack. The sun's rays reflected on the 
facets of the curves in the barrier ahead gave to the' 
whole mass the appearance of a long range of white 
buildings having the various abutments thrown into light 
and shade. Whales were numerous here, spouting in 
all directions, and many white petrels. At four a.m. a 
whole line of finners were sending up jets of vapour 
so high as to appear above the barrier. 

At 5.40 a.m. the break in the barrier forming an inlet 

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lack Ship oj) the lUgJifs hold Proiuontory. 


or bight, perhaps, a quarter of a mile wide, and from a 
mile to two miles in depth, bounded on its starboard side 
by a very strikingly bold promontory of ice, for which we 
had been for some time standing in, and now went about 
when within a quartiT ol a mile of it, with a moderate 
breeze blowing. We had tacked none too soon, for its 
great height above our mast-heads, even at this distance, 
took the wind out of our sails as we hung in stays. Cap- 
tain Ross, coming on deck at the moment, rated the 
lieutenant in charge of the watch for venturing so near 
before putting the ship about. But conscience forbids 
my letting him bear all the blame for this bit of daring, 
the temptation to have a nearer view into this extra- 
ordinary recess in the barrier having prompted it. When 
the good old ship's si^YV hrn) het-n presented to the 
barrier, Captain <ivt>9Ji^'4i,v}L< '^i,tVvviu}Ii.l;s in 330 fathoms, 
and again at 6.1^ n.m. in ,:;!S i.^homs, green mud as 
usual, whilst standing off. The only spot where the 
upper surface of the barrier could be seen was at the 
further extremity of the bight, the cliffs of ice forming 
the sides sloping down to a low angle, where they meet, 
and above which the upper plain surface rose like a 
smooth, snow-clad, swelling hill in the distant back- 
ground. The enormous icicles suspended from the 
basal portions of the steep mural precipices forming 
the portal and promontory to this great inlet in the 
southern barrier had a most imposing and striking effect 
as the old Erebus, when nearest to it, turned her stern 
towards it, after getting her head round. The whole 
scene was one calculated to inspire no less awe and 
wonder than that of Mount Krebus itself, ejecting smoke 
and flame from the summit of its stupendous peak of 
thick-ribbed eternal ice and snow. 

The extremes of the pack extended from S.h]. to 
W^S.W., and the barrier from K-S.!*:. to W.N.W. At 
10.15 ^^•"^- ^^'^' lacked off the edge of the pack, having 



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Voyages of Discovery. 


'\ s 

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m '' 

passed through a patch of young ice, already beginning 
to assume a white appearance near a berg. The latitude 
at noon was 77^ 56' S., and longitude 190° 15' E,, ther- 
mometer 21°, wind E. About this time a thick fog came 
on, and the thermometer by two p.m. had sunk to 
16° Fahr., rendering our return through a somewhat intri- 
cate channel no very easy matter. At 1.30 p.m. Captain 
Ross went on board the Terror, to consult with his col- 
league, Captain Crozier; and soon after his return the 
fog increased so much we lost sight of our consort. 
Between five and six p.m. signals were made to her by 
firing three muskets, three chamber and three large 
guns, shortening sail at the same time. The night, how- 
ever, cleared up fine as we stood along the pack-edge 
on the starboard side. 

As we coasted the line of the barrier we fell in with 
many whales, both finners and spermaceti. One large 
black one rose close under our bows, and actually dived 
under the hull of the ship ; several others at the same time 
passed very close to us. A very successful whale-fishery 
might be carried on here ; the whales are of the very 
largest size, especially the sperniaceli, perhaps the most 
valuable of all ; could but ships fitted in the ordinary 
way make their way through the vast and heavy inter- 
vening packs, a somewhat hazardous affair, however. 

Monday, \^ih. — Repassed Frank!;n Island on our re- 
turn, in latitude 76° 2', and longitude 170° 15'. Since the 
loth the aspect of the weather has much changed, assum- 
ing a wintry appearance, the decks at times covered with 
snow, and the masts, spars, and running rigging encased 
in ice, which rattled down on the decks from aloft, hanging 
about often in long beads or bracelets, with the bows 
frosted over, giving the ship a very hoary aspect indeed. 
Whilst running along the pack-edge through streams of 
ice we passed several large bergs : one long, low one 
estimited at four miles in len^jth. On Sunday last I 

Exploraticn of MacMurdo Bay. 


recomnended Captain Ross to have the hot-air stove 
lighted for a few hours, to ventilate the ship. The birds 
about us for the last few days have been white petrel, 
immature petrels, lestris, a dusky albatross or two, and a 
stormy petrel. 

Tuesday, \6tli. — Fine day, with light winds and a clear 
blue sky above ; but the horizon being clouded, rendered 
the outline of the land indistinct ; as we stood up a deep 
gulf, with the sea covered with thin pancake ice, occa- 
sionally passing a fragment of white opaque ice, nearly 
a calm at times, I noticed several openings in the 
coast-line on the starboard side, large deep bays, as it 
were, bounded by very bold headlands. 

Ahead of us once more appeared the grand volcanic 
mountain of the South Pole, Mount Erebus, with a band 
of clouds stretching across it. In the evening it was 
sending forth a dense volume of smoke, in the lower 
portion of which a red flame might be seen at intervals 
intermingled with it. It is not an island, as had been 
supposed on onr first visit ; now clearly proved by our 
entering the gulf connected with the mainland. We 
passed a whole line of large whales, whose remarkably 
long, pointed, black fins bristled above the surface of the 
water, finners doubtless ; but so little of the outline of 
the back of the whale is seen above the water ; a group 
of three or four seals passed near us, and a number of 
white petrel, and a lestris or two, with some penguins. 
A man was sent up to the mizzen mast-head to-day, to 
clear the rigging of ice with a haiiuspike ; when it fell and 
rattled about the decks like a shower of stones, so hard 
was it frozen. The thermometer was 32°, wind variable, 
latitude 76° 32', longitude 166° 12' E. 

Wednesday, \']th. — About three a.m. the land at the 
head of the gulf was found to be continuous beyond all 
doubt, uniting Mounts Erebus and Terror with the main- 
land, forming a deep bay. The ship was consequently 

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Voyaji^cs of Discovery. 

put about, and her course directed out of the gulf again. 
During the day we stood across the bay towards the land 
on the starboard side, and in the direction of the Magnetic 
Pole, which appears to be situated in the midst of the lofty 
mountains about 1 20 or 160 miles inland of us. We passed 
through 1. vc <ii"ge quantity of young ice, the pieces of 
which it is composed having greatly increased in both 
breadth and thickness since we entered this large bay. 
I took a sketch of the land, which is comparatively of 
moderate height, and inclined to an angular form, 
margined by ■ 'i; • if bay ice, white, smooth, and snow- 

The opening Set\. e 1 *his land and Mount Erebus, 
forming 'he entrance to t' bay, occupies three points 
of the coii'.pass ; lIici "• i? . :i'ail island off the mount. 
At 4.15 p.m. Captain Cioiier \ ,:.' t vo of his officers 
came on board, remaining till 6.30 a.m., owing to the 
difficulty in getting a boat to the Ten'or, the young ice 
with which the whole surface of the bay was covered 
thickly as far as the eye could reach all round the visible 
horizon, and through which we were passing all night, 
greatly interrupting all communication between the ships. 

The pancake ice, from its original pentagonal or 
hexagonal form, becomes irregularly rounded, turned 
up at the margin, and the surface crossed by similar- 
shaped curved edges, as if some three or four had been 
cemented together ; in this way the inshore pack is 
rapidly formed. 

I remained on deck, a not unusual circumstance with 
me, all night; and at 10.30 p.m. I saw the sun set for 
the first time ; the moon on the wane, forming a slender 
crescent. During the first watch Mount Erebus pre- 
sented a splendid spectacle, sending upwards a tall, 
dense column of smoke, tinted red on the right side, and 
extending out in that direction in an oblique line of 
pale red along the sky, a smaller vent appearing on the 

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A^caresl approach to the Maqiictic Pole. 


first small eminence to the right of the crater; ultimately 
a bank of dark clouds of a deep neutral tint colour, sur- 
mounted by a reddish flush with foam-like edges screened 
the mountain ; the volume of flame-tinted smoke curling 
just above this stratum of clouds to the right disappeared 
altogether about one p.m. 

At midnight I shot two white petrel ; the first fell upon 
the ict on the starboard quarter, and the second on 
board c.i the port gunwale, behind the quarter-deck 
boat by the mizzen-shrouds ; saw one stormy petrel, 
and counted twenty seals lying on the young pack-ice. 
During the night passed many penguins sitting on the 
pieces of pancake ice, generally solitary, but occasionally 
two together, frequently pluming themselves, one reclining 
on its breast and the other standing near it. These were 
the smaller kind, having dark upper and white lower 
surfaces. A small seal, apparently the fur-seal, passed 
under the port quarter on a piece of ice. There were 
many white petrel about, so that the otherwise still soli- 
tude of the scene was thus broken in upon by the variety 
of animal life around us. During the morning watch we 
weathered the pack-edge, a dark sky to windward ; 
thermometer standing at 25°. 

Thursday^ \%th. — At 7.30 a.m., after my long night's 
vigils on deck, I gladly descended to breakfast, the 
most social meal of the twenty-four hours. This day we 
made the nearest approach to the Magnetic Pole, in the 
early part, running along the pack-edge, through the 
young ice, and towards the close of the day in an open 
sea, clear of ice, and very fine weather, with moderate 
breezes. A small whale swam round the ship with a 
seal. We found the dip the greatest we have yet had, 
being 88" 44', and the variation 92° 53'. During the 
first watch I shot six white petrel, of which 1 secured 
three for the collection, and singularly the third bird, 
when wounded, having its leg hanging down, took a 

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Voyages of Discoveiy. 


flight to windward, then, suddenly tacking in its course, 
swept round and fell dead on the quarter-deck, as if in 
the last moments of its ebbing life it yielded up its 
beautiful form to the altar of science. Of the others, the 
first fell between the capstan and the gun-room skylight ; 
the second into the catharpens of the main-top ; a solitary 
stormy petrel following in the wake of the ship. When 
I left the deck at midnight Mount Erebus presented a 
beautiful appearance astern, rearing its lofty peak above 
the surface of the waters in solitary grandeur ; the 
surrounding land having become submerged beneath the 
horizon by the great distance, being not less than 120 
miles off, the peak so completely isolated as to present 
all the appearance of an island. The sky was so clear 
that the volume of smoke from its crater was most 
distinctly visible, curling upwards in the blue ether. 


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ii.u uJiL.i:.aL;u'' . iJi\iiLILiLMita/iijLLL.ui.^aiv. 


^^^?^ 'jij. a"yit7^ 

Remarkable rock, like a j^atcway. 


Remirkable rock, like a Roman gateway — Singular black dyke on 
mountain summit— Off Possession Island — Caj^e McCormick — 
Halleny's Island — Frozen fresh meat— The aurora australis— On 
the return track— Sighting Bruin Light. 

Friday, igi/i. — Fine clay, running along the land to the 
northward, which was but indistinctly visible, from the 
cloudy state of the horizon on the port bow. The polar 
flags were got on deck for an airing, as it now appenrs 
very improbable that they will ever fly nearer the 
Magnetic Pole, at least for this season. During the first 
watch I saw several bergs and islets on the port quarter, 
one a very remarkable perforated rock, resembling an 
old Roman gateway between two towers ; another like 
the leaning tower of Pisa. At 9.30 p.m. the sun set 
most beautifully astern, lighting up the horizon with a 
dazzling flush of red between the land and a bank of 
dark clouds, which extended alcjng the horizon. The 
sea was open and clear of ice. Thermometer 24°, wind 
easterly, latitude 75" 3', and longitude 168' 45', dip 
87° 49'. Dark nights are now fast closing in again, as 
the sun now sets for upwards of four hours, which, 
together with the rapid formation of young ice within the 
last few days,, and the general aspect of the weather, 
indicate the near approach of winter. 

VOL. I. N 

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Voyages of Discovery 

Saturday, 2otli. — Blowing a fresh gale, running along 
the land at the rate of seven knots. It is the same island 
which appeared on our outward voyage so much like a 
bold promontory of the mainland. In the evening we 
were off Possession Island. 

Sioiday, 2isL — Cloudy and unsettled weather ; going 
before a strong breeze. The land on the port side high 
and covered with snow, the lofty peaks enveloped in 
clouds. We doubled a bold, black cape, christened Cape 
McCormick by Captain Ross, off which several large 
heavy bergs were lying, and I took a sketch of it. Lati- 
tude 71° 5', longitude 169° 58'. Land about thirty miles 
off. In the evening I saw a remarkable black dyke in- 
tersecting the summit of an inland hill and lofty cone. 

Wednesday, 24///. — Thermometer down to 25°, wind 
westerly, latitude 70° 14' 39", longitude 167° 34' 30". 
Going along the land all day, which I took a sketch of 
soon after tacking, at five p.m., when it bore south-east 
astern. A number of heavy large bergs skirted the 
coast-line, and the summits of the snow-clad mountains 
were half concealed by a girdle of light clouds. The 
ship was under double-reefed top-sails and close-hauled. 
A strong, fiery breeze blowing, with a clear blue sky, 
and bright sun, was very bracing and elastic. A shoal of 
spotted whales passed on our port quarter. At eight p.m. 
the sun set behind a narrow bank of clouds, very bright 
and dazzling. 

Thursday, 25///. — Fine clear day. Beating up for the 
extreme point of the land, off which a line of packed ice 
was attached, and bergs lying. Westward of the 
Admiralty range of mountains and the icy barrier ex- 
tending from Cape North, in a westerly direction, the 
land trends, apparently to the southward again, and 
maintaining its great altitude, a south-westerly course 
between Victoria Land and Balleny's and D'Urville's 
Islands might lead to a nearer approach to the 

Ba/knys Island. 


Magnetic Pole. In latitude 65", and longitude 162° 
E;. Whilst drifting down towards the pack, large 
whales were numerous along the edge of it. About 
eighty large bergs seen from the mast-head, forming a 
chain. After some anxious hours we were within some 
half a mile of the bergs, on which the surf was breaking 
and roaring, looking out for Wilkes* Land, in the latitude 
of 64°, and longitude of 164°. At 7.10 p.m. we tacked 
off the land. Five small islands were seen, and I took 
a sketch of a very remarkable peak, bearing S.E., 
strikingly resembling the rock called Lot in Fairyland, 
St. Helena. Thermometer 20°, wind westerly, latitude 
70° 6', longitude 167° 27'. At eight p.m. extremes of 
land bore from S. \ E. to E. by S. \ S. 

Friday, 26th. — Overcast and gloomy weather, snow 
and mist, with much swell, no land or ice in sight. We 
have had to-day a greater number and variety of birds 
flying in the wake of the ship than we have seen since 
entering the Antarctic circle — white petrel, immature 
petrel, ash-backed, a stormy, and a gigantic petrel, a 
sooty albatross, lestris, and several of the pretty blue 
petrel. Had the hot-air stove lighted to air the ship. 
Latitude 69° 52', longitude 167" 53'. 

Saturday, 27///. — Gloomy weather, with overcast sky 
and a strong breeze. At three p.m. I shot a pintado, or 
immature petrel, flying over the ship, which I secured by 
its falling in the port-waist. The sky this morning pre- 
sented a most extraordinary wild aspect, curdled cumuli, 
mottled over with a fiery red, and the horizon astern was 
suffused with a glaring red mist. 

Tuesday, March 2nd. — In latitude 68° 27', and longitude 
168° 6' 18", at three p.m. Saw an appearance of land on 
the starboard bow, which at eight p.m. proved to be 
Balleny's Island, bearing S.W. by W. to W. by S.. 
appearing like two small islands, and very high land, 
with a lofty peak on the right, on the weather port bow. 

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I 'oyai^cs of Discovery, 


A few ash-backed and numerous pintados about the ship, 
flying generally very low, skimming the surface of the 
sea to leeward, and passing under the stern to windward, 
but not attaining a sufficient altitude to justify me in 
shooting them, as the odds would be very much indeed 
against their falling in-board. So our feathered friends 
were permitted, doubtless to their great satisfaction, to 
follow their vocations inst(;ad of becoming, at the sacrifice 
of their lives, immortalized in some of our museums of 
natural history. Some stars appeared for the first 
time this evening, looking very bright. Our consort the 
Terror looked like a ship of glass, so embossed all over 
in ice was she, her side presenting a long, broad band of 

Thursday^ \th. — Blowing a gale of wind, accompanied 
by a heavy sea. Weather overcast with snow and 
mist, surrounded on all sides by bergs and heavy stream 
ice. Dolphin-striker carried away. Latitude 66° 43' 38", 
longitude 165" 45'. 

Saturday, 6tli. — The finest day we have experienced 
for some time past, mild to the feelings, with a clear blue 
sky and sunshine, light winds from the eastward, and 
calms. Thermometer 31°, latitude 65° 50' 31", longitude 
164° 45' 13". Passed several bergs, one singular-shaped 
mass strikingly resembling a village church, with a short, 
peaked spire rising from a round tower. A solitary 
white petrel passed the ship. These well-named snow- 
birds appear to be confined to within the limits of the 
Antarctic circle, we having first of all fallen in with them 
in the latitude of 66° S., on the outward-bound voyage, 
and they are now disappearing again in about the same 
latitude, the blue petrel now superseding them, with 
great numbers of the pintado, and an occasional sooty 
albatross and stormy petrel ; an ash-backed petrel now 
and then mixing with them. 

Sunday, Jth. — The articles of war read, followed by 

1 i 

open Sea where ll'i/hs' Land appears on llie Chart. 181 

prayers. Mild, gloomy clay. Thcrinometer 32°, latitude 
65" 30', longitude 162" 15'. 1 counted sixteen or seventeen 
bergs to leeward, on the [)ort side, some of them very large 
ones ; one in particular was both large and lolty. We 
have passed over the spot where the American Antarctic 
Expedition have laid down land, but we found only an 
open sea, with not the vestige of a bit of land in sight. 
We had some fresh beef roasted for dinner to-day, which 
had been killed in December last, and suspended under 
the mizzen-top in a bread-bag ever since. It turned out 
most excellent, being more tender and juicy than when 
first slaughtered. I opened a jar of Tasmania honey on 
the occasion, which had been given me by my kind 
friends the Gregsons on my taking leave of them, under 
their hospitable roof at Risdon. I also broached a Ijottle 
of whisky. 

Friday^ \2tl1. — Fine day, with strong breezes. At 
three p.m. I shot and succeeded in securing another 
specimen of the pintado I have named th Procellaria 
antarctica, which fell on board between the companion 
and main-mast to windward (port beam). There was a 
larger proportion of blue petrel about to-day. Passed a 
fine, large, white-looking berg, with smooth sides and not 
a crack in it, looking as fresh as if only just sliced off the 
barrier. Another long, low berg app(,'ared some distance 
to leeward. In the evening several large finners passed 
to leeward, sending up large jets of spray, with a loud 
spouting noise, the upper surface of their backs alone 
visible, leaving a track of foam in their wake. Latitude 
64° 12', longitude 161° 28', thermometer 31°. 

Friday, igt/i. — W^eather overcast and misty, going 
eight knots and a half before a favouring breeze. I shot 
three Antarctic petrel, but only succeeded in securing 
one of them unfortunately, which fell into the stern-boat. 
Latitude 64° 21' 20", longitude 148° 45'. 

Saturday, 20th. — All last night the ship was sailing 


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Voyaj^c's of Discoioy 

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through young ice, at times receiving some heavy thumps 
from larger pieces, as she ran along the edge of the heavy 
pack, before an easterly breeze, with studding-sails set, in 
latitude 65° 10' D.R., longitude 143° 21' D.R. We are 
now in the longitude of Tasmania. The Antarctic petrel 
numerous to-day ; I shot four, and succeeded in reclaim- 
ing three of them, one falling on the weather, and one on 
the lee side of the deck, and the third into the stern-boat. 
I sat up during the night skinning five petrel for the 
ornithological collection. 

Sunday, 2\st. — Weather overcast and gloomy, with 
snow at noon. Had divisions and divine service. At 
dinner fresh roast beef, which had been kept for the last 
three months, and was excellent. 

Tuesday, 23;-</. — Last night, between the hours of ten 
and midnight, during the first watch, I saw for the first 
time the aurora australis. It formed an arch extending 
from north-west to north-east, from which pale yellow or 
straw-coloured rays shot upwards to the height of some 
twenty or thirty degrees, converging towards the zenith. 
It proceeded from a bank of dark clouds (13^ altitude) on 
starboard side, and to windward. A diffused, pah^ light 
crested the bank of clouds from which the rays of the 
aurora shot upwards. The night was beautifully clear, 
and the stars numerous. Over the starboard quarter to 
windward the Southern Cross shone conspicuous near 
the zenith. To-day the weather was overcast and misty, 
with a fall of snow. A large berg on the port quarter. 
This evening I again saw the aurora faintly in the south- 
east quarter. The crow's-nest was taken down this 
morning ; and during the night we crossed the line of " no 
variation,'' the dip being 83° 57'. 

Wednesday, 24tth. — Thick weather, with much snow; 
wind increased to i\ hard gale, ship going before it, and 
rolling heavily, her decks covered witli sludge from the 
falling of lumps of snow from the rigging and sails 


Brtlliaut Displays of .Aurora Australis. i8- 

aloft. The only birds sct'n were a few blue petrel, a 
sooty albatross, and a bird with long, pointed wings, 
skimming the surface of the sea at a distance, like the 
sheerwater, which in all probability it was. 

Friday, 26th. — This evening I saw the first large 
albatross {Diontcdia exullns) since we first entered the 
Antarctic circle, in latitude "^9° 23' 38", longitude 
.30° 9' 6". 

Saturday, 27///. —During the first watch I saw some 
brilliant displays of the aurora australis, forming an 
arch of white light astern, at an altitude of 30°, ex- 
tending from south-east to north-west, and another 
arch ahead, like light, white, fleecy clouds, forming an 
arch of 20°, a faint band of white light extending from 
the east to the west horizon across the zenith. The 
ship's head at the time being N. by W. ; latitude 
58° 2' 7", longitude 128° 40', thermometer 35°, wind 
E.N.E to W. Weather misty and disagreeable, with 
sleet and snow. 

Friday, April 2//r/.— This forenoon the first cutter was 
lowered, in which Captain Ross went away to sound with 
5000 fathoms of line on the reef, and got bottom in 1540 
fathoms, in latitude 51° 10' 6", longitude 136° 55' 45''. A 
cask,containingapaper signed by the captain and ollicers, 
was thrown overboard. 

Sunday, 41/1. — No divisions or divine service. At 
6.30 p.m. a heavy sea carried away the lee quarter-boat 
(second cutter) from the port quarter. Strong breezes 
and gloomy weather, with muc 1 sea on. Numbers of the 
small black-backed albatrosses about the ship, with a 
few D. exulciis and blue petrel. 

Tuesday, 6th. — In latitude 44" o' 32", and longitude 
145° 57'; thermometer 39°, wind W. ; a beautiful day, mild 
and genial after the boisterous weather we have expe- 
rienced on our return from the Antarctic circle, going six 
and seven knots in smooth water, with all studding-sails 



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Voyages of Disiovery 

set, low and aloft ; accompanied by numerous albatrosses, 
both large and small, and the blue petrel. 

In the afternoon the land appeared like two hummocks 
on the port bow. Night moonlight. At 6.30 p.m. saw 
Bruin Lighten the port bow, and a lunar rainbow astern, 
standing up Storm Bay. 


Remarkable black tr;ip dyke, iiUcrscctinjj a lofiy iiioiintain peak. 
{Hci: pdi^f 178.) 


Summary of our attempt to reach tlie Soutli Polo— Physical features ot 
the Antarctic continent — Climate — Geology— (leiieral sketch of 
changes in the earth's surface. 

This our first voyage south, on the meridian of the 
Aucklands, has been rendered memorable by the discovery 
of an Antarctic continent, to be added to the terrestrial 
globe, capping the Pole to a vast extent. The eastern 
coast of this, on the meridian of New Zealand, we 
traced from 70° to 79° of latitude, when the great icy 
barrier, commencing from the terminal cape of Mount 
Terror, in the longitude of i 70°, extended in a continuous 
perpendicular wall of ice, varying from 100 to 200 feet 
and upwards in altitude above the level of the sea for 
some 250 miles in length, arrested all further progress to 
the southward. Beyond, and at the back of this stu- 
pendous glacier, the distant peaks of land were just 
visible, named the Parry Mountains, after our distinguished 
chief, Admiral Sir Edward Parry, of Arctic celebrity. This 

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yoyages of Discovery. 


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mighty barrier could not have been less in thickness 
than 1000 feet, and off which we got soundings in 260 
fathoms, where the height of the face of it, in latitude 
78i°, was 168 feet. 

The gulf or bay connecting Mount Erebus with the main- 
land was .named after the first lieutenant of the Terror, 
McMurdo Bay, a compliment well deserved by that worthy 
and meritorious oflicer. An island lying off it and the 
volcanic mounts was named, after the talented and dis- 
tinguished hydrographer to the Admiralty, Admiral Sir 
Francis Beaufort, Beaufort Island; and another island, not 
quite so far south, was named Franklin Island, after the 
Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin, whose melan- 
choly fate in after-years became so painfully associated 
with the mysterious loss of our old ships the Erebus 
and Terror in the opposite hemisphere, after having 
buffeted and escaped the bergs and perils of the 
Antarctic seas. 

My worthy fellow-boating companion in the explora- 
tion of Kerguelen's Land, Lieutenant Gerrans Phillips of 
the Terror, had a cape named after him in latitude 73° 
S. ; and Captain Ross did me the honour of associating 
my own name with a striking bold, black promontory, 
abreast of Possession Island, on which we landed to take 
possession, in the name of her most gracious Majesty 
Queen Victoria, of this great southern continent. Cape 
McCormick, in the latitude of 71° 55' S., and longitude 
of 170° 58' E., forming the terminal coast-line extremity 
of the ridge descending from Mount Whewell, situated 
about midway between the two most remarkable peaks 
of this magnificent mountain range, Mounts Sabine and 
Herschell, towering above all ; the former on the north 
side, having somewhat the shape in outline of the opera- 
house at the Havana ; and the latter on the south, re- 
sembling a stupendous crystal of quartz, projecting above 
the surface of this vast mass of glaciation, to which the 

Rise of the Ocean Bed in approaching the Pole. 187 

angles taken gave the height of 7867 feet, and to Mount 
Sabine an altitude of 8444 feet. The highest summit 
on first making the land rose to 9096 feet. The extreme 
height of this grand mountain range, culminating in the 
two magnificent volcanic peaks, attaining elevations of 
above 12,000 and 10,000 feet. Mount Erebus, the highest, 
in a high state of activity, belching forth dense volumes 
of smoke, at intervals with flame intermingled, from its 
lofty crater, emerging from a colossal pyramid of eternal 
ice and snow ; and Mount Terror, now extinct, — were 
named after the two ships. From the terminal ridge of 
the latter, the Great Barrier extends in an easterly direc- 
tion. The remainder of the coast-line received the names 
of the other officers of the expedition, and the mountains 
of the inland range those of the ofBcial authorities at 
the Admiralty and other public and scientific men as far 
as Cape North, where we first sighted the land 100 miles 
at least distant. The voyage extending over five months 
at sea. 

The climate of this Antarctic region of our planet 
with its vast accumulation or cupola of ice at the pole, 
keeps the temperature, even in what goes by the name of 
the summer season here, down 10 the freezing-point of 
32°, for it rarely ever exceeds this a fraction, on its most 
congenial days — vividly recalling to the imagination some 
faint idea of the condition Europe and our own islands 
must have presented in the remote past, during the great 
glacial epoch, with the winter in aphelion. 

The soundings in high south latitudes indicate a general 
rise of the ocean bed, as we approach the southern pole, 
and the deep azure blue colour of the cracks and fis- 
sures in the Antarctic ice is due to the blue rays only 
being reflected, whilst the others are absorbed. The 
Antarctic bergs differ from the Arctic ones, in their gene- 
ral formation ; being detached from the outer margin of 
the barrier, the ice is nmch purer and freer from earthy 


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Voyages of Diicorery. 

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matter than are the Arctic bergs, for the most part 
formed in deep ravines or fiords along the coast ; con- 
sequently the greater transparency of the southern ice 
may give to it the intensity of blue which so distin- 
guished it from the northern ice. 

It may be worth while here to make a few observa- 
tions on the changes and vicissitudes of climate which 
the surface of our earth has undergone since it was first 
launched into the boundless realms of space, in so far 
as it may bear upon the eventful history of the successive 
creations of organic beings, animal and vegetable, which 
the ever-changing conditions of land and water have 
brought about and unfolded to us in the strata of the 
crust of the earth, in which they have been so wonder- 
fully preserved. 

The glacial epoch, however, was not due to terrestrial 
changes alone so much as the result of cosmical causes 
dependent on the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, and 
the precession of the equinoxes, combined with changes 
in the obliquity of the ecliptic, and nutation, a small 
gyratory, nodding, conical movement or oscillation of 
the earth's axis, a retrograde movement along the eclip- 
tic from the east to west, and very slow motion of the 
pole of the heavens among the stars, round the pole of 
the ecliptic, occupying no less than nearly 26,000 years 
in completing the tour of the ecliptic ; during which the 
sun loses one day in the year on the stars, by its direct 
motion in longitude, and the equinox gains a day during 
the same period on them by its retrogradation. This, 
indeed, of late, has been a subject of controversy which 
I leave to others to settle. 

The pole-star, a star of the second magnitude in 
the constellation of the lesser bear, is at the present 
time somewhat more than a degree from the pole, and 
will continue to approach till within half a degree of it. 
Its movement through space is not more than one mile 

The Precession of the Equinoxes. 



and a half a second, but at such a vast distance from 
us that its light takes half a century to reach the earth, 
whilst that splendid star Vega, the pole-star of the future, 
next to Sirius, one of the brightest of the first magni- 
tude stars in the northern hemisphere, moves at the rate 
of thirteen miles a second, its light taking twenty-one 
years to reach us. 

The precession of the equinoxes was observed some 
2000 years ago by Hipparchus, who first compiled a 
catalogue of the stars. It is brought about by the 
diurnal motion of the rotation of the earth on its axis, 
and with which the phenomenon of nutation, a minor 
movement due to the moon's attraction, is intimately 
associated. The earth revolves at the rate of 1000 
miles an hour, and at the same time moves in its orbit 
through space at the rate of 70,000 miles in the same 
space of time. Moreover, the friction of the tides would 
appear to have some influence on this diurnal rotation of 
our planet. The pole being merely the vanishing-point 
of the earth's axis, the rcirograde motion of the latter 
is consequently a conical one. 

The changes of climate from variations in the eccen- 
tricity of the earth's orbit must have been considerable, 
deviating as it does from a circular orbit, the sun, 
whose mean distance from the earth is in round numbers 
some 92,000,000 miles ; but when the eccentricity is at 
its superior limit '07775, will be no less than 99,000,000 
of miles distant, when the earth is in the aphelion of its 
orbit ; when in perihelion it is only 85,000,000 of miles, 
so that our planet is really 14,000,000 miles farther from 
the sun when in the aphelion than in the perihelion of its 
orbit. The difference between the perihelion and aphe- 
lion distances of the sun at the present time amounts in 
round numbers to only 3,000,000 miles. The eccentricity 
of the earth's orbit, it would appear, has been diminishing 
for ages past. 

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Voyaocs of Discovery. 

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Although astronomers will not admit that the earth 
has changed its axis of diurnal rotation as opposed to the 
known law of a spheroid rotating round its shortest 
diameter, and that the latitudes would not remain con- 
stant as they now are, nevertheless it may be movable 
as regards space, arising from the pole of the heavens 
opposite the earth's axis describing a circle around the 
pole of the ecliptic whose obliquity is 23° 28' ; the decrease 
in the obliquity of the ecliptic amounts to 45' per century 
only, so almost imperceptibly slow is the movement. 
Had the earth's axis been perpendicular, instead of being 
inclined to the plane of its orbit at an angle of 23° 30', 
the day and night would have been equal all the year 
round, but this angle not being constant, oscillates to at 
least a degree and a half. 

The earth is an oblate spheroid whose equatorial cir- 
cumference is in round numbers 25,000 miles, and the 
difference between the polar and equatorial diameters is 
twenty-six miles and a half. The siderial exceeds the 
tropical year by about twenty minutes. 

Our planet in its path round the sun has in the past 
doubtless been subjected to extraordinary vicissitudes of 
temperature, lowever brought about, commencing with 
its own heated nucleus, changes in its position with 
reference to thj sun, possible variations in the amount of 
heat received from the sun itself, from changes in the 
relative distribution of land and water, together with 
perhaps irregularities in the temperature of space itself, 
which has been estimated at 239°, or, according to La 
Place, 100" below zero. In stating 239° as the tem- 
perature of space, it must be understood that of stellar 
space, and not the absolute zero without the heat of the 
stars, which would be 222° below that of stellar space. 

From the constant low temperature of the sea-bottom, 
everywhere cold and dark, with a constant temperature 
under every latitude of about the freezing-point, it would 

I t 


^,^ « 

Composition of the Crust of the Earth. 191 

appear to cl('rivc no increase of heat from the earth's 
interior. Yet it has been found, in descending the 
deepest mines, the temperature increases in the ratio of 
one degree for every sixty or seventy feet below the 
surface, and during the carboniferous epoch it has been 
supposed that the internal heat of the globe affected its 
surface so much as to produce a subtropical climate 
from pole to pole. The thickness of the crust of 
the earth has been variously estimated, some sup- 
posing it to be about thirty miles ; and the nature 
of the nucleus, whether fluid or solid, remains still an 
open question. All we know is that the lowermost 
rock in the crust is granite, this passing into gneiss, 
and above these lies the Laurentian formation, made up 
of the disintegrated granite and gneiss, syenite being a 
subsequent eruption to the granite, and differing from it 
in structure by having the mica replaced by hornblende, 
and being often found in large spherical masses, resem- 
bling cannon-balls, remarkable specimens of which I 
found in New Zealand. 

Above these Plutonic rocks we have the argillaceous 
schists and sandstones, and the various other sedimentary 
strata of the limestone and sandstone formations, through 
which the igneous rocks have been erupted by volcanic 
action, or upheaved the strata from the original hori- 
zontal position at various periods. 

The deepest mine does not exceed half a mile in 
depth, and no boring a mile. The highest mountain 
on the surface of the globe does not exceed five miles in 
altitude, and the greatest depth of the ocean does not 
amount to more than this. Mount Everest, the highest 
elevation of the Himalaya, reaches, in round numbers, 
29,000 feet, and the deepest soundings in the Pacific 
Ocean 4475 fathoms. The deepest depression of the 
Caspian Sea is 3000 feet, and that of the Dead Sea 1300 
feet below the ocean. One half of the weight of the 

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Voy (list's of Discovery. 

rocks constituting the earth's crust is oxygen, and the 
most abundant rock is silica. Chalk is a fine calcareous 
flour derived from foraminifera and other marine organ- 
isms, .is are also layers of flint. Mountain-ranges form the 
crests of the great wave into which the crust of the earth 
has been upheaved by subterranean agency. 

After these few brief observations on the structure of 
our planet and its relations to space, a glance at the 
glacial period or ice age of the post-tertiary or pleisto- 
cene time, when our own islands and Europe covered 
with a mantle of ice and snow must have presented a very 
similar aspect to the Antarctic regions of our own time, 
may possibly afford some explanation of the problem as 
to how those fossil remains of both animals and plants 
have become entombed in such high latitudes, north and 
south, as Greenland in the one hemisphere, and Kergue- 
len's Land in the other ; forms, when living, so organized 
that they could cnly exist in a tropical clime, and their 
remains found in so perfect a condition, the corals, for 
instance, that they must have lived and died on the spot 
where imbedded in the rocks. 

The glacial epoch, as we have seen, has been the 
sequence of cosmical causes in combination with terres- 
trial changes brought about by the precession of the 
equinoxes about every 10,000 years, and alternately in 
the two hemispheres, that is to say, when one hemisphere 
is glaciated under a mantle of ice and snow, the other 
has a warm and temperate climate, and vice vers.f, when 
the cold has reached the maximum in the one hemisphere 
the warmth would attain its maximum in the other. 
When the eccentricity is at its superior limit '07775 and 
the winter occurring in aphelion, the earth would be in 
round numbers some 8,000,000 miles farther from the sun 
than at the present time, with the eccentricity at the 
inferior limit of "0168 and the distance somewhat above 
90,000,000 miles, with the winters at present nearly eight 



The Glacial Epoch. 


clays shorter than the summers, whilst, with the eccen- 
tricity at its superior limit, the winter solstice being in 
aphelion, the winters would then be no less than thirty- 
six days longer. 

During this remarkable cycle of intense cold there 
would appear to have been inter-glacial periods or re- 
current changes of climate, accompanied by oscillations 
of the sea-level, and consequent submergences and emer- 
gences of the land, giving rise to the submerged forests 
and raised beaches, and to which the coal formation 
owes its origin. 

Thus the warm interglacial periods in the Arctic 
regions produced the miocene flora of Spitzbergen, Green- 
land, and North Devon, forming the shores of Barrow 
Strait and the Wellington Channel, as indicated by their 
fossil remains of animal and vegetable life that could 
only have existed in tropical or sub-tropical seas and 
lands, some 12,000 years in the past perhaps. 

How often and often have I pondered and meditated 
over those relics of ages long gone by ; corals and other 
forms of oceanic life, by their organization only adapted 
to exist in the seas of the tropics, their delicate structures 
as perfect as when living, which I have myself found 
embedded in the Arctic table-land limestone formation of 
North Devon, and the entombed forests of coniferous 
trees I found in the volcanic land of Kerguelen, in the 
Antarctic seas, where now not a vestige of arborescent 
form of vegetation exists. As all these forms have come 
under my observation, I have wondered how they could 
ever have existed there ; for whether admitting that the 
heat derived either from the causes above stated, or from 
the greater temperature of the crust of the earth not 
then cooled down to its present condition, yet whatever 
might be the amount of heat required, and so obtained, 
still there is this difficulty to encounter, the absence of 
the sun's light during the six months that orb remains 

VOL. I. o 

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I'oyagcs of Discovery 

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beneath the horizon at the pole in the winter of the 
Arctic regions. The difficult question which here meets 
us to answer is, could these dicotyledonous, hardwood 
forest-trees, found fo?sil in Greenland and Spitzbergen, 
such as sequoia, salisburia, numerous conifers, besides 
oaks, maples, beeches, poplars, planes, magnolias, &c., 
have existed without the sun's rays in a land of dark- 
ness for one half the year, had the earth's axis been the 
same then as now ? A problem, I b(;lieve, only to be 
solved by the admission of some adequate change in the 
relative position of earth and sun, however brought about. 
A transference of the ice-cap, or accumulation of ice at 
the pole from one hemisphere to the other, it has been 
supposed, might result in a displacement of the earth's 
centre of gravity. 

During the warm interglacial period of the miocene 
flora, in mid-tertiary times, was also a period of the maxi- 
mum of intensity of volcanic action on the crust of our 
globe. Lyell supposes Dover and Calais were united by 
an isthmus in miocene times. The concentric rings in 
the coniferous trees found in the coal mf\nsures would 
appear to indicate the existence of seasons at that period. 
Volcanic action in Auvergne broke through the granitic 
plateau in miocene tim-^s. 

Before bringing to r close this glance at the changes 
our planet has gone through in the past, a few brief 
remarks on the effects of denudation on its surface may 
render this deeply interesting subject more complete. 
The vast and startling periods of time assigned by most 
geologists to the silent operations of nature in bringing 
these changes about, would seem to be founded on rathei 
questionable calculations ; for from recent observations, 
both on bone caves and raised beaches, the inference to 
be drawn is that denudation has gone on far more rapidly 
than has been generally admitted. With reference to 
the bone caves, the time required for the deposition of 




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Denudation, raised Beae/ies, Cj'e. 


llu; travertine, forming the stalagmites and stalactites, 
from the carbonate of lime held in solution, may be 
greatly inlluenced by an excess of carbonic acid, in- 
creasing the dissolving power of the rain-water as it 
percolates through the limestone, thus accumulating a 
greater amount of deposition ; and the calculation made 
from a long S(Ties of observations on the raised beaches 
of the North American lakes, gives only some 6000 or 
7000 years for the deposition of all the several beaches, 
so that thousands may be nearer the mark than the 
millions of years so often assigned to the operations of 

As these pages were passing through the press, my 
friend Mr. Carruthers, of the Botanical Department of 
the British Museum, South Kensington, called my atten- 
tion to the last number of the Terliarjlora Anstraliens for 
1883, sent to him, in which Professor Dr. C. von Ettings- 
hausen had done me the honour to name some fossils, 
which I found in the Lindisfcrne travertin limestone 
deposit near Hobart Town, when there in H.M.S. Erebus 
with the Antarctic Expedition. The willow named after 
myself, and the cinnamon after Hobart Town, with the 
third specimen, Echitoninin obscurnm, will be found at the 
end of the next chapter, from drawings kindly made for 
me by Mr. Carruthers. 


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Voyages of Discovery. 




Quail-sliooting at Risdon — Lindisferne limestone fossils — I.evees — The 
Erebus and Tlrwr ball — Visiting — The bushranger defeated. 

iVedncsday^ April ']ili, 7.45 r?.;;/.— Beating up above the 
lighthouse on the, with a strong breeze ; firing 
several guns for a pilot. About noon Sir John Franklin 
came in a cutter to meet us, saluting us with three 
cheers, which we returned off Hobart Town. The squalls 
were so heavy as to heel the ship over to a considerable 
angle; and at 3.45 p.m. we let go our anchor off the 

lliursday, 8t/i. — At seven p.m. I dined at the mess 
of the 51st, and slept at the barracks. At eleven a.m. 
I mounted one of the officers' horses and rode out by 
the new town road to Risdon. A delightful day with a 
refreshing breeze ; I reached my friend Gregson's at one, 
and returned on board at six p.m. When at Risdon I 
found my paroquet alive, and greatly improved in his 
vocal powers. 

Wediiesdny, 14///. — Mr. Gregson and Captain Forman 
dined on board with me ; the former remained on board 
all night. The following morning I met Judge Montagu, 
just landed from his yacht at the wharf. At seven p.m. 
I dined at the army mess, meeting Gregson there ; I sat 
next to the Inspector-General of Hospitals, Dr. Clark, 
and was called upon for a speech on the toast of the 
Naval Medical Department being given. 

i ; 


Quail-shootin([ ai Risdon. 


Monday, x^tJi. — I started in Captain Forman's gig- 
boat for Risdon on a quail-shooting excursion, with two 
or three others, and accompanied by two dogs. After 
breakfasting with Mr. Gregson, he accompanied us round 
his grounds about noon. The first covey of birds was 
flushed in the stubble-field adjacent to the house ; several 
shots were fired, but no birds fell; and, as this covey is 
a pet one of my friend's, his regulations forbid any one 
firing a second time who had missed his bird. I did 
not fire myself till we had proceeded for about two miles, 
when I put up the first bird without the aid of the dogs, 
and bagged it. The next bird I shot rose to one of the 
dogs, and Mr. Gregson said it was the largest quail he 
had ever seen here. On our return to the house by the 
home-field, I took the shot due to me at the pet covey, 
and killed my bird to keep as a memento of the pleasant 
day's sport, and in mercy to my kind host's pets did 
not avail myself of the second shot I was entitled to 
from not missing a shot ; so that the covey came off 
well, losing only one of its mess. The birds were alto- 
gether only seven brace bagged. Gregson, the best 
shot of the party, killed two brace. Captain I'^orman one 
brace. Lieutenant Breton, R.N., one bird. Lieutenant H. 
three birds ; the fourteenth was a disputed bird. Besides 
my three quail, I shot two miners for the collection, both 
on the wing returning. We dined at six p.m., had music 
and dancing in the evening, and left Risdon at midnight. 

Friday, 23/7/. — Mr. Blackett's yacht, the Albatross, 
anchored in shore of us, and her owner having been a 
shipmate of mine in H.M.S. 7V//6' in bygone years, I 
called on board to see him, and asked him to dine with 
me on board the Erebus, wh'ch he did on the following 

Saturday, lUay isf, — At six p.m. dined at Government 
House with Sir John Franklin. 

Monday, 3/7/, scvoi p.m. — Went to tlie Ifobart Town 





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Voyages of Discovery. 


Theatre to see the new play got up in honour of the 
expedition, and called the " Antarctic Expedition." It 
was but rather indifferently got up, and not much better 
acted. It was concluded at ten, and the after-piece, the 
" Robber of the Rhine," commenced at 10.30, and con- 
cluded about midnight. We had a front box, curtained 
round, to ourselves. Yesterday I saw my paroquet in 
Gregson's garden. 

Thursday, 6th. — Dined at Government House with Sir 
John Franklin at six p.m. ; and on the following day, at 
8.30 p.m., I went to a large party at Stoke, given by 
Mrs. Spode, and left at two a.m. 

Thursday, i^^th. — Our ball committee met on board 
for the purpose of making arrangements and sending 
out invitation cards to the inhabitants of the vicinity, from 
whom we had received so much hospitality during our 
sojourn at this beautiful island. I was elected honorary 
secretary for the Erebus, and my old friend and boating 
colleague, Lieutenant Phillips, to the same office for his 
own ship, the Terror. 

Tuesday, i^th. — At ten a.m. attended the ball com- 
mittee, and received a specimen of the ornithorhynchus 
from Macquarie Plains as a present, but unfortunately it 
died in the transit, and I preserved its skin. 

Thursday, 2oih.~l attended the committee at the 
Observatory, and lunched there. Went to the Courier 
office, and saw the paper printed ; and at six p.m. dined 
at the mess of the 51st regiment with Dr. Clark. 

Friday, 21st. — At 5.30 p.m. I dined at the Rev. Mr. 
Lillie's, and had music in the evening. To-d^iy both 
ships were warped in shore alongside of each other in 
preparation for the ball. 

Sunday, 23/v/. — Divine service ; and a ball-room com- 
mittee assembled afterwards in Captain Ross's cabin, 
when I signed some invitations to personal friends, to 
whom I specially wished to send cards for the ball, wc 

Lindisfcrne Travcrihi Liiuestone audits Fossils. 199 

having arranged for a certain number to be specially 
invited officially, and the surplus cards were divided 
amongst the officers of both ships, to enable them to pay 
a compliment to friends from whom they may have 
individually received attention during their stay. 

Monday, 2^tli. — I went on shore at two p.m., and 
attended a levee at Government House. It was a very 
confused, bustling affair, even for such ceremonials, 
wedging through a narrow doorway between two very small 
apartments, from the waiting-room to the governor's 
closet ; and at nine p.m. I attended the governor's ball, and 
left at 3.40 a.m. On the following day I accompanied the 
Gregsons to " Fry's School," and to hear the band of the 
51st regiment, after which we all dined together at their 
friends, the Crombies, a lawyer of Hobart Town. The 
next day, at two p.m., I called at Mr. Crombie's, and took 
the family on board the Seahorse, a beautifully fitted 
steamer, just arrived from England, to run between 
Hobart Town and Sydney. 

Friday, 28///. — At eleven a.m. I walked across the 
paddock to Risdon, which I reached at one, and left at 
eleven p.m. The evening had been wet, but it afterwards 
cleared up ; in returning along the new town road I 
was up to the knees in mud, so bad is the road after rain. 
Mr. Gregson had not returnea. 

Saturday, 2gtli. — Fine day. Upon the receipt of a 
note from Risdon, I started at 4.20 p.m. across the 
paddock ; sky lowering, with threatening black clouds. 
We dined at six, and retired at midnight. On the 
following morning, Sunday, 30th, we arose at 8.30 a.m„ 
and after breakfast Gregson accompanied me to examine 
a limestone quarry at Lindisferne. Our way lay through 
some pleasant woods ; and a lovely morning. The lime- 
stone is of a yellowish or buff colour, a fossil univalve 
shell occurs in the upper part, beneath which are found 
trunks and branches of trees, with the impressions of 



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Voyages of Discovery. 

leaves. The deposit is perhaps sixty to seventy feet in 
depth, and apparently a tertiary formation. Gregson 
dined on board with me in the evening. 

The " Erebus " and " Terror " Bali,. — We have 
been favoured by a fine evening for our ball, which com- 
menced at eight p.m., on Tuesday, the ist of June. The 
approach to the ships was through a canvas-covered 
way, forming an arcade, lined with flags intermingled with 
branches of the " wattle," in its full yellow bloom, and 
other plants, the whole supported on a bridge of boats, 
and of sufficient breadth for two persons to walk abreast 
along it. A lamp-post was placed on each side of the 
entrance, so ornamented with native plants, as to resemble 
the mouth of a grotto, between which and the road 
through the paddock Sir John Franklin had got con- 
structed a branch road, to enable the carriages to pass 
down the hill to the very entrance of this tunnel-like 
approach to the ball-room, which was formed by the upper 
deck of the Erebus, the innermost ship, whilst the Terror, 
outside of us, secured head and stern, with a bridge con- 
necting the gangway, was allotted for -the supper-table. 

Our ball-room was covered in by a canvas awning, 
lined throughout with flags, and decorated with the 
various native plants, branches of the beautiful orange- 
ytilow wattle, ferns, &c. The band of the 51st 
Regiment occupied an orchestra, covered v;ith dark 
cloth rising to some feet above the deck, and orna- 
mented with shrubs and flowers, in front of which 
was suspended a portrait of our Queen, encircled 
in a garland of flowers. Just a^aft the main-mast rose 
a second orchestra, for the Hoba Town quadrille band, 
in the midst of a labyrinth of foliage. The capstan, 
also, supported a pile of Flora's productions, and in the 
centre of the flags, forming a screen between the fore- 
castle and the waist (where lemonade was served as a 
refreshment to the dancers) was a floral device, repre- 

^ \nm 


"Bredus " and " Terror" Ball. 


senting the letters "V.R." The tops of the sky-lights 
were converted into ottomans covered with flags, and 
benches covered with scarlet cloth were ranged all round 
the sides of the ship, as seats for those not engaged in 
the dance. The whole was brilliantly lighted up by 
chandeliers obtained from the shore, and with lamps 
placed at intervals around the sides, the effect of which 
was very much heightened from the approach by the 
tunnel having been barely lighted sufficiently to enable 
the guests to find their way, so that, after wending along 
a gloomy, narrow passage for some sixty or seventy yards, 
a flood of light all at once burst upon them on stepping 
from the gangway upon the quarter-deck, and here the 
captains and officers were standing to receive their guests. 

Captain Ross's cabin and the gun-room of the Erebus 
were assigned as dressing-rooms for the ladies, and 
were supplied with mirrors and most of the etceteras of 
a lady's toilet, down to hair-pins, eau-de-Cologne, and 
other perfumes. The descent to the lower deck was by 
the main hatchway, the steps covered with red baize, 
having a circular awning of flags decorated with flowers 
of the wattle, and rosettes made of bunting by the sailors. 
The ring-bolts had been removed from the decks, and 
everything that could possibly leave more space. 

The governor, Sir John Franklin, and his suite arrived 
soon after eight p.m., and by nine o'clock the deck 
presented a very gay and animated scene, upwards of 300 
guests must have been present during the evening. Each 
ofiicer being a steward, and having the option of inviting 
ten personal friends, was well able to secure attention to 
all, and the more especially as each had a station 
m in charsfe of a division at th( 



for which lots had been drawn, as the most equitable plan 
to avoid all partiality. I was very fortunate in this lottery, 
for, had the choice been offered me, I should most un- 
hesitatingly have selected the one which fell to my lot. It 


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Voyages of Discovery. 



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li : 

was the small table over the gun-room companion, just 
abaft the main-mast, with the capstan immediately behind 
me ; a snug, isolated berth, with just sufficient room to 
accommodate my own little party of seven, consisting of 
my friend Mr. Gregson, Mrs. Gregson, and Miss Gregson, 
Dr. Clark, the Inspector-General of Hospitals, Mr. 
Crombie, the lawyer, and two other friends of theirs. 
Supper was served at eleven p.m., and after some 
squeezing and pressure in the passage, through the 
narrow gangway between the Erebus and Terror, all 
found their seats at the table, the governor and his suite, 
with the two captains, occupying the after-part of the 
quarter-deck table, which was terminated by a small table 
athwart-ships for that purpose. 

As usual on such occasions many toasts were drunk, 
and speeches perpetrated, accompanied by loud cheering 
and emptying of wine-glasses. McMurdo, the senior 
lieutenant of the Terror, with whom rested the arrange- 
ment of the supper-table, had, with his customary good 
taste, left nothing to be desired in its decoration, and 
certainly threw us in the Erebus into the shade, the 
difference being just in the same degree as existed in the 
minds of the two senior lieutenants themselves, with 
whom these preparations rested. The sides were lined 
with black and scarlet cloth, having candles placed at 
intervals backed by mirrors, for which purpose the looking- 
glasses intended as presents to the natives of any lands 
we might visit were taken from their frames, small 
bouquets were attached to these, and the effect was very 
pleasing. The chandeliers were tastefully formed of 
bright steel bayonets, which had a far more ship-shape 
appearance than our hired commonplace glass ones from 
the shore. The productions of Flora were most tastefully 
arranged in small bouquets variously grouped. The 
supper-tables bore on them poultry, dressed in various 
ways, pies, pastries, cakes, and jellies, with fruits ; of 

A Kangaroo Hunt. 


wines, port, sherry, and hock, and an abundance of cham- 
pagne. On returning to the ball-room dancing continued 
until daylight My friends the Gregsons, who had 
arrived at nine p.m., I escorted to their carriage at the 
paddock at four a.m. The whole affair passed off well, 
every one seemed highly gratified with their entertain- 
ment, and even the elements were propitious, as our 
guests had a fine evening for their arrival, and a morning 
not less so for their departure. 

The Erebus and Terror Ball will doubtless long be 
remembered by the Tasmanians as a memorable event in 
the history of their very beautiful island ; and most 
assuredly the boundless hospitality which every member 
of the expedition received at their hands will be as long 
remembered on their part as a no less interesting epoch in 
their own wandering lives. 

The decks of the old ice-and-weather-beaten ships 
never before responded to the elastic step of so much 
female loveliness and beauty, as this small island of the 
Antipodes mustered on the occasion ; and at that division 
of the supper-table over which as a steward I presided, it 
fell to my lot to have the honour of having seated next 
myself at table the " belle" of the island. Miss Elizabeth 
Gregson, of Risdon, a beautiful and accomplished girl 
of eighteen, who, with her father and mother (as already 
stated) and a mutual friend or two, constituted the small 
group at my table. 

Friday^ \tJi. — Captain Forman's boat took me to 
Risdon for a kangaroo hunt on Grass Tree Hill ; Mr. 
Gregson with his fine pack of hounds, and we with our 
guns. Not a very successful kangaroo chase, as the 
dogs having started one, took to the hill and got over 
it. I shot a guinea-fowl on the grounds of my friend's 
house, and a ground thrush. We dined at six p.m., 
and on the following morning, Saturday the 5th, after 
breakfast, I strolled round the grounds with my host's 

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Voyaii'cs of Discovery. 

children, and shot an island crow, a thrush, and four 
paroquets. Dined at six p.m., and it being a moonlight 
evening, my friend's eldest son accompanied me to the 
bottom of the hill to shoot opossums, but we were not 
successful in meeting with any. 

Moiiihiy, ']t/i.—Ahcv breakfast I started for Hobart 
Town accompanied by Gregson, and at six p.m. we both 
dined on board the Terror^ my friend remaining on board 
for the night. 

Friday, 18///. — Rainy day. After breakfast I set 
some of the Kerguelen Land cabbage seed in my 
friend's garden, and started on my return to the ship at 
2.15 p.m., and at 6.30 p.m. dined at the mess of the 
51st, and left at eleven p.m. Sir John Franklin was 
present, with Captain Ross. Thirty-three in all sat 
down to table, and Captain For man called upon me for a 
speech on the occasion. 

Saturday, \gtli. — I called on Ladv Franklin, who had 
been absent on an excursion to New Zealand, and only 
returned to-day in H.M.S. Favourite, of eighteen guns. 

Sunday, 2-itli. — Fine day, with a fresh breeze. After 
divisions I started for Risdon. Dined at Gregson's at 
three p.m., where I met old Major de Gillan, a Penin- 
sular officer. Had sacred music in the evening, and the 
house being full of guests, I slept on the sofa in the parlour. 

Monday, 28///. — After breakfast I walked with the 
young ladies down to the creek, and whilst crossing it in 
their boat one of the party, in her over-haste to get out 
of the boat on its reaching the opposite bank, was very 
near going overboard, and certainly would not have 
escaped a cold bath but for the presence of mind and 
promptitude of her young friend, Miss Elizabeth Gregson, 
who, relieving me at the oar, kept the boat steady, 
whilst I sprang to the rescue of her friend. After this 
little adventure we walked on to the ferry, and looked 
over the new house in the course of construction there 






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Excursion to Major dc GillatCs, near Ricluiwnd. 205 

for Mr. Gregson. On our return to the house, after 
joining the family at lunch, I started at four p.m. for the 
ship, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Gell, who subse- 
quently married Miss Franklin. 

lliursdny, July \sf, 10.30 a.m. — Walked to Risdon, 
and at three p.m. drove in Gregson's carriage to Major 
de Gillan's, and reached his picturesque cottage residence 
at 4.15 p.m., where I dined, and started on my return at 
6.45 p.m. It is situated about a mile from the Richmond 
Road, and approached by a winding avenue. Many 
birds were flying about the trees, especially paroquets, 
and large flocks of sheep grazing. Reached Risdon at 
eight p.m. A fine moonlight night, and keen air. Found 
my friend Gregson but just returned from Hobart Town. 
It proved very fortunate in the sequel, that I was 
induced to remain under my friend's roof for the night, 
as it was in all probability the means of saving my host's 
highly valued old family plate. I slept in the room 
usually allotted me in my many visits here, which is 
situated on the ground-floor in the opposite wing of the 
building to the one in which the family have their sleep- 
ing-apartments. The windows opened upon a veranda 
outside, under which the carriage stands. About five 
o'clock in the morning I was suddenly aroused from a 
sound sleep by a harsh grating sound, which I at first 
thought arose from the grating of the door on the 
hinges, by the servants opening it to remove my boots. 
But on glancing in the direction of the window, on the 
left side of the bed, I discovered that it was half open, 
and the burly figure of a man in a blouse outside, 
shadowed in strong relief upon the white window-blind. 
Although barely awake from that heavy sleep induced 
by weariness and over- physical exertion, it at once 
occurred to me that this nocturnal visitor could be no 
other than one of those bushrangers at that time by no 
means an extinct race in the colony, and who by some 







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Voyages of DisfiKrry 

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means or diIkt had ascertained that this identical room 
was the depository of my friend's chest of plate. 

Anxious to secure the marauder, I remained still and 
quiet to watch his movements, fully expecting that he 
would get in through the open window, when I was on the 
alert to seize him before he could get a footing on the 
floor inside. However, on his attention being for the 
moment arrested in his effort io raise the sash higher, 
and which did not readily yield, I seized the interval to 
slip out of bed and grope for the boot-jack at my bedside, 
the only available weapon at hand. This movement of 
mine, quietly as it was made, caught his ear, for he 
suddenly withdrew the half of his body, already within 
the window, and retreated. I quickly followed him out 
of the window in my night-dress, head foremost on the 
pavement outside, and grasped the iron-shod cross-piece 
of the carriage trace, the nearest thing at hand. Thus 
armed, I gave chase to the fugitive, pointing it at him, 
and threatening to shoot him unless he at once hove-to ; 
but, supposing it to be a gun, this idle threat only appa- 
rently accelerated his speed, and after a fruitless search 
round the garden and lawn, I, in returning, examined all 
the doors by walking round the house and trying them ; 
and, finding them all secure, I again turned in, and 
rested undisturbed till morning. 

At breakfast I made no allusion to the incident of the 
early morning, for fear of alarming the female part of the 
family ; but Mrs. Gregson pointedly asked me if I was 
not disturbed by noises about the house in the night, 
and moreover said that she had found one of the latches 
of the doors raised this morning. Mr. Gregson himself 
seemed much surprised, and said that during the many 
years he had resided here he had never had any attempt 
made upon his house before. 

After breakfast was over I took him to my bedroom, 
where his own eyes convinced him that such at least was 

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Li ndisf erne Fossils from Travertin Limestone Deposit. 207 

the case last night ; for the large screw, the old-fashioned 
way of fastening the window, had been forced through 
the wooden frame, fracturing it ; and this was the noise 
which awakened nie. Mr. Gregson's eldest son John then 
recalled to mind that he had observed a very suspicious- 
looking character, resembling a bushranger in appearance, 
lurking about the premises on the preceding day, and 
speaking to some of their own workmen. 

1: 1. 

.S;ilix McConnickii. 


Cinn;irnoimiiii Hobaitiaiuini. Echitonimii Obscurinn. 

{Sec pa '^c lycj.) 


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Poniard's Pah, Bay of Islands. {Sec fi<t^i^e 216.) 




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Leave for Sydney — Visits — Trip to Paramatta — New Zealand- 
Description — Visit to the chief Pomare — His farm. 

Tuesday, 6tli. — Did not sail as was intended. Day re- 
markably fine. Walking out to Risdon, I met my friend 
Gregson at the Ferry. Lunched with the family, as did 
Dr. Hooker, who arrived after me ; started on return at 
3.40 p.m. Gregson, with Mr. Crombie and the new 
Surveyor-General, Mr. Power, took a farewell dinner 
with me on board. Lieutenant Kay, of the Terror, was 
the bearer of a book from Lady Franklin as a parting 
present to myself. 

Wednesday, July "]th. — Weighed anchor at 6.30 a.m., 
and at 6.45 a.m. Sir John Franklin and suite came on 
board from a brig. Manned yards and cheered him, 
which was returned. Gregson slept on board last night, 
and breakfasted with Captain Ross, and Sir John 

Arrival at Sydney. 


Franklin this morning. At 10.30 a.m. the governor 
took his farewell leave of us in Storm Bay, with a mutual 
exchange of cheers. My old friend Gregson left at 
11.10 a.m., and joined the governor in the brig. She 
bore down and cheered the Terror, and in passing us 
did the same. We had fine weather and a fair wind 
round Cape Pillar, but afterwards foul. The night was 
very fine. We had Lieutenants Otway and Carey, of 
the 51st, passengers with us to Sydney; and Captain 
Forman in the Terror. We were a week on the passage. 
Anchoring off Garden Island at 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 
14th. The health-oflficer, Arthur Savage, Surgeon, R.N., 
came on board. We passed the entrance to the notorious 
Botany Bay, having a forbidding aspect ; a heavy surf 
breaking over the reef at its entrance. Barren-looking 
cliffs of horizontal sandstone, interspersed with low sand- 
hills and sandy beaches. A heavy surf also breaks 
over a reef on the starboard side of the entrance to 
Port Jackson. The lighthouse and signal-station with 
a flag-staff apper..b on a promontory about 300 feet in 
height. On pr -.sing the entrance, which is about a mile 
in width, and turning sharply to the left, a noble bay 
opens, or rather an arm of the sea. The town of Sydney, 
the masts of the shipping, with the picturesque village 
of Wooloomooloo, appear at the head of it, five or six 
miles up. The surrounding hills are low and scrubby- 

Thursday, i^th. — I landed at Sydney for the first time 
at the government jetty. Wrote my name in the 
governor's visiting-book, and paid a visit to the club, 
where I met Captain King, R.N. Walked through the 
town to the race-course, returning across the government 
domain to the rocks called Lady Macquarie's Chair, and 
got on board at five p.m. 

Sunday, i8f/t. — Fine day, but the last two or three 
days heavy rain, with thunder and lightning. I attended 

VOL. I. r 








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I'ovcigcs of Discovery. 


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morning service at St. James's Cathedral ; Bishop Brough- 
ton preached the sermon. Walked to Wooloomooloo, 
afterwards called on Dr. Savage. On the following day 
I met another brother-officer, Thomas Bell, at the club, 
he had been out w'ith Parry in one of his earlier voyages 
to the north, and was now a settler out here. 

Tuesday^ loth. — Fine day ; went on shore and visited 
the Botanical Garden. On the following day heavy 
rain ; when I dined with Captain Ross to meet Dr. Bell, 
Captain King, Mr. McLcay, and Captain Crozier. 

Sunday, August \st. — Paid a visit to the Roman 
Catholic Chapel, service from eleven to one ; being high- 
mass day, it was very fully attended. There were no 
pews, we were seated on a bench, about the third or 
fourth from the altar, a highly ornamented structure, 
with the steps and platform richly covered with carpet- 
ing and scarlet cloth. Twelve tapers burning, the windows 
of richly-coloured glass. Seven priests officiated at the 
altar, and the chief priest was distinguished from the rest 
by the richness of the embroidery on his robes. I visited 
tie cemetery afterwards, and called in Jamaica Street, on 
an old brother officer, Sir John Jameson, a retired phy- 
sician of the fleet, whom I had never before met. He 
invited me to dine with him on the following day, at 
6.30 p.m., when fourteen in all, including some naval and 
military, officers sat auwn to table. Cards, singing, and 
music followed, and I left at 1 2.30. Old Sir John, on 
whom ihe marks of age were becoming but too plainly 
visible, told me that he knew my father, when he was 
surgeon of H.M.S. Defence, with the Baltic fleet in the 
year 181 1, and endeavoured to dissuade him from return- 
ing home in her with the crippled ship St. George, of 
ninety-eight guns, in company ; as he said that from 
his own position as physician to the Baltic fleet, it was 
in his power to have effected an exchange for him into 
some other ship, but that he could not be induced 


Excursion up the River to Paramatta. 

1 1 

to leave his own ship, and consequently perished with 

Tuesday, 3/7/. — After calling on Sir John Jameson, I 
dined with the governor. Sir George Gipps, at seven 
p.m. Twenty-three sat down to table at Government 
House ; Captains Ross and Crozier pre nt. . Left at 
eleven p.m. 

Wednesday, \th. — At nine a.m. started from the wharf 
in the steamer, on an excursion to Paramatta. In pass- 
ing up this narrow arm of the bay or river, a number of 
small bays or coves follow in quick succession on either 
side ; beyond Kissing Point, about nine miles up, we 
passed some fine orange and lemon plantations, the trees 
weighed down with their golden fruit. 

We reached Paramatta at 11.40 a.m., situated on a 
plain about a mile distant from the wharf, and through 
it the main road to Windsor in the interior passes. 
Passed a timber waggon drawn by twelve oxen. W^e 
visited the penitentiary, containing some 900 women 
and 400 girls and boys, employed chiefly as laundresses 
and needlewomen. At one p.m., on returning to the 
town, wc lunched at the " Red Cow," a very pretty and 
quite rural-looking little inn, embosomed in trees and 
flowers, having a verandah hung round with cages, con- 
taining parrots and canaries. In the garden in front was 
a curlew, and the majestic-looking " native companion," 
or gigantic crane of the country, with its ash-coloured 
plumage and reddish head. Returned by the same 
steamer at four p.m., but did not reach Sydney until 
some time after dark, landing at 6.45 p.m. 

Thursday, ^th. — Capt.tin Sullivan, appoint(Kl to the 
Favourite from India, arrived last niglit, and takes a 
passage with us to join his ship at New Zealand. At 
11.15 '^•"^' '^^c sailed with a fresh breeze and fine weather, 
but afterwards stormy, with rain and foul winds. 

Monday, \6tJi. — Mainland in sight; and during the 



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Voyages of Discovery, 


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first watch last night we were off Cape Maria, Van Die- 
man. To-day we weathered the North Cape, two miles 

Tuesday y \^th. — Beating up for the Bay of Islands, 
and on the following day at nine a.m. we were off the 

There are two rocks on the starboard side, the outer 
one called Tiki-Tiki, with Cape Brett on the port side of 
the entrance, and somewhat less than two miles up the 
bay on the right, we passed the entrance to the Kiddi- 
Kiddi, or Gravelly-Gravelly, from the nature of its bottom. 
The New Zealanders, or Maoris, have a habit of repeat- 
ing many of their proper names in duplex. Lying off it 
is the island of Motouroa, with several rocks ; three or 
four miles still higher up is the Waitangui River, on the 
same side, and meaning in the Maori language, the 
" Crying, or Weeping Waters," from a waterfall in its 
course. Between the two streams is a low black ledge 
of lava, intervening between the argillaceous cliffs of 
which the shores of the bay are chiefly constituted. A 
broken-down, crater-shaped hill, but a short distance in- 
land, sufficiently explains the source from whence this 
lava currei las flowed at some period or other. At the 
entrance to the Waitangui lies the small island of 

On the opposite or left side of the Iiay of Islands is 
Paroa Bay, the scene of the murder of tlie French Cap- 
tain Marion by thr natives, separated only from Korora- 
riki by a narrow peninsula a quarter of a mile across ; and 
just round Point Wayhilii, skirting a small bay with a 
shingly beach, is situated the settlement of Kororarlka 
itself; in the native language — always euphonious — 
termed the valley or bay of Sweet Penguins , consisting 
of some score of houses, chiefly stores, ranged in a line 
along the beach, with perhaps double that number 
scattered about in a straggling manner at the back. 

At Anchor in the Kava-Kava. 


The native pah occupies the centre of the beach, formed 
of a few low huts, in the centre of which is the chief's, 
the whole being enclosed within a fence of stakes twelve 
feet and upwards in height. Above this is the new 
church, and to the right of it the Roman Catholic 
rhapel ; the signal-station crowns the hill above the 

Nearly opposite to Kororarika, on the right side of the 
Bay of Islands from the entrance, which is here about 
two miles wide, is the missionary station of Paihia, or 
Paheha, the residence of the Rev. Mr. Williams, the 
head of the Mission, and formerly a lieutenant in the 
Royal Navy. The station consists of three or four good 
houses, having pretty flower-gardens in front, and skirted 
by a fine, white, sandy beach, in front of which lies the 
small island of Moutou Rangui, covered with trees, and 
situated seven miles up the bay. Just above Kororarika 
a deep cove runs up, called Kiddi Cove, terminated by a 
rock, Torre-Torre, connected with the mainland by a 
narrow neck, which is dry at low water, but may be 
crossed over in a boat at flood-tide. 

At 10.30 a.m. we anchored in the Kava-Kava, or Bitter- 
Bitter, about two miles above Kororarika, and nine 
miles from the entrance to the bay opposite Tavumay 
beach, a sandy flat on the right, backed by a mangrove 
swamp, through which a creek or narrow river runs. 
This is said to be the spot where Marion was eaten by 
the cannibals, after murdering him in Faroa Bay. 

About two miles above our anchorage, Pomare's (the 
chief of the Bay of Islands) pah appeared, cresting 
a hill or ridge, where the Kava-Kava gives off the 
Waikadi branch to the left. On the left side of the 
bay, nearly midway between us and Pomare's paii, is 
Russelton, on which is situated tlie prettiest house in the 
bay, in which Captain Hobson, the governor, lived when 
here. The barracks is built on the point. We found 





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Vcyogcs of Discovery. 

the American corvette Yorktoivn, with a whaler and 
several small vessels at anchor off Kororarika. The 
weather was so thick, blowing hard, coming in sudden 
squalls and violent gusts, as to obscure the distant hills, 
the rain falling heavily. 

Monday, 2yd. — I landed this morning for the first 
time at Pahia, in Captain Ross's galley, accompanied by 
Captain Sullivan. The day was fine ; saw a native chief, 
and called at Colenso's printing-office ; walked over the 
hills at the back of Pahia, which are clothed with what 
is here called the tea-scrub, a fragrant, aromatic plant, 
bearing a pretty white bloom. Returned on board at one; 
found that Mr. Williams had been on board during my 
absence. In the afternoon I again landed by the Obser- 
vatory, on Tavumay Beach, and shot two of the tui or 
parson bird, a beautiful bird, about the size of our 
starling having a plumage displaying the same metallic 
lustre and of the same species as I met with at the 
Auckland Islands; I also shot a small dark w'arbler ; 
returning on board at five p.m. 

Tuesday, 2\tJi. — Landed at eleven a.m. at the Obser- 
vatory ; weather overcast with drizzling rain. I strolled 
along the beach to Pahia to call on Mr. Williams ; I 
found him at home. He is a fine, dignified-looking man, 
inclined to be stout, with the frank, independent manner 
of the ex-naval officer. I was much pleased with him, 
and we had a long conversation about the land of his 
adoption ; he told me that he had crossed New Zealand 
from Port Nicholson to the Bay of Islands, through the 
then unknown interior, in two months ; he saw the central 
volcano with the hot springs and lakes, one thirty miles 
across, containing fish; and also a river; some of the 
highest hills were covered with perpetual snow. He had 
to cross a desert in the interior, which alone occupied 
him a week, and he had to carry his provisions for this 
time. He met with several species of birds unknown in 

Visii to /'o;ujrJ's Pah. 


the parts of the island hitherto visited. The rapidity 
with which the general diffusion of the Scriptures 
had taken place throughout the various tribes in the 
interior, he states as most remarkable, and effected 
entirely by converted natives from the Bay of Islands. 
Native Prayer Books were general amongst them ; and, 
as a substitute for the church bell, they jingled together 
pieces of metal at their meetings for public worship. 

Auckland, the capital, it appears contains the best 
land in its vicinity. Port Nicholson is subject to much 
blowing weather and sudden and heavy squalls. The 
Cowdie Pine is limited to me northern portion of the 
island ; the southern island he states to be mountainous, 
and but sparsely inhabited. On White Island there is 
an active volcano. He showed me his track chart across 
the island, with the ridges of mountains running parallel 
S.W. and N.Ii. 

Just before I left him, the widow of a chief came into 
the room—a well-mannered and very decently-dressed 
woman. The weather clearing up, I returned along the 
beach, shot a kingfisher, crossed the Observatory River, 
up the Mangrove Creek, and over the inland hills, along 
the native paths which Intersect and wind round them in 
every direction, concealed in the distance by the thickets 
of tea-scrub which overhangs them. Returning by the 
river, I got on board at five p.m. to dinner. Mr. Williams 
was a lieutenant of the Endyinion frigate when she 
captured the American frigate President. 

Wednesday, 2^th. — The tide surveyor called alongside 
in his boat, for me to go with him to see Pomare's pah 
at ten a.m. W^e landed on a small shingly and sandy 
beach, flanked on the right by two gin-slioj)s, eliielly 
frequented by the whalers, and called the " Sailor's 
Return" and the " Eagle Inn," having the shutters and 
verandah painted green. A narrow path, with three or 
four peach-trees in their pink bloom, led up the face of 

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Voyngcs of Discovery. 

the hill to the pah. The huts of the natives commenced 
at the summit of the hill, and were scattered down the 
opposite side in divisions, separated by fences of stakes, 
amounting perhaps to fifty or sixty in all, each very low, 
with doors just high enough to crawl in at on hands and 
knees. The chief Pomare's hut was situated at the 
bottom of the hill, only just above the beach, forming 
one of three placed in a row. 

Pomar^ himself was absent, planting potatoes at his 
farm, about six or seven miles up the River Kurrito. 
His hut was more ornamented than the rest ; but this 
was the chief difference. The door was higher, being 
nearly five feet in height by two feet in width, sur- 
mounted by a red carved board and a group of dark 
feathers. The door was also red, and latched with 
only a bit of cord. On the left side was a small square 
wicket or window, having a shutter of the same colour, 
and over it was suspended a French coloured print, 
" L'Hiver." The roof was formed by two boards, meet- 
ing at an angle, having a porch in front, surmounted 
by two carved figures, a male and female. A plank 
across the basement formed the threshold. The whole 
structure was thatched with reeds, those on the inside 
of the porch were crossed by red and yellow bands, 
and the plank of the ceiling wreathed red and white. 

On entering the interior a carved image presents itself 
in the centre of the floor, on which some scattered 
embers, the ashes of the last fire, remained. On either 
side were the sleeping-places, simply portions of the bare 
ground floor parted off by narrow ledges of wood. The 
only furniture consisted of an old black and yellow, long- 
fibred mat, an old musket, pair of canoe paddles, and a 
spear. Near the hut is a storehouse, elevated on posts 
from the ground. The whole pah and huts are encircled 
by a railing of stakes, irregular in height, ten to twelve 
feet high, and bound together with grass, a signal-staff 



In-ivalof II.M.S. " Faronriur 

crowning the hill. The only natives we saw were an old 
Rangitera — the te^m here for the rank of gentleman — 
coming next to the chief, his wife and daughter, an old 
woman, and a few children, the tribe being absent with 
their chief. We embarked again at noon, landed at 
Russellon, and again at the American Cousul's wharf 
on the Kororarika side of the bay, a little below the 
anchorage of the ships, calling at a pretty cottage and 
garden of an old resident. Started again at 1.30 p.m. 
Made sail on the whale-boat, which, carrying a very large 
lug-sail, as much as she could well stand under without a 
reef in the strong breeze, and sudden violent squalls that 
often struck her, with her lee gunwale a-wash with the 
sea, I all but anticipated a capsize, and was not sorry, 
though no novice in boating, when we at last effected a 
landing at Kororarika. Ten minutes had scarcely 
elapsed when I saw from the Custom House one of the 
native canoes upset in the surf opposite, during one of 
those heavy gusts of wind accompanied by rain. Paid a 
visit to the pah here ; but old Rivers, the native chief, 
was absent. It was enclosed with the usual stakes, ten 
to twelve feet high. I rambled over the hill to Paroa 
Bay, and started on our return at 4.15 p.m., sailing a 
portion of the way, and reached the ship at five p.m. 

Thursday, September 2nd. — H.M.S. Favourite arrived 
in the bay. Went on board. 

Tuesday, ']th. — At 9.40 a.m. I left the ship in the gig 
for Pomare's farm, up the Kurrito River. Blowing a gale, 
and threatening rain. On our way, calling at the " Sailor's 
Return," wc met Pomare's general, or fighting-man, as 
he is termed ; a stout, resolute-looking fellow, much 
tattoed, which added a fierceness to his expression. The 
banks of the Kurrito, the left branch of the Kava-Kava 
riv( r, are low, flat, and muddy ; in places very shallow. 
We had the flood-tide up and the ebb down ; the 
stream narrowing as we ascended. On the right a 

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WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 




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K<3y.7^t?5 <y Discovery 

succession of mangrove swamps, mingled with rushes, 
ferns, and abundance of flax, growing luxuriantly in the 
low and swampy underwood and rushes. Beyond the 
low banks of the stream appeared a receding range of 
hills of moderate height, having a smooth, undulating 
outline, clad with short fern. On the left bank the 
argillaceous hills are clothed with dense woods of lofty 
trees and underwood, sloping down to the banks of the 
river. As we approached Pomares village the river 
became so narrow, as it winds through flax and rushes, 
that we were compelled to shorten in the oars to get 
the boat along, the stream being only the boat's length 

We landed soon after noon, amid heavy rain, at the 
village, consisting of about a score of huts, scattered up 
the sides of the sloping bank. On reaching the first l.ut 
we found Pomar^ himself squatted on his hams in the 
customary native mode in the outside porch. He was 
smoking his pip*^. and enveloped in the folds of a blanket 
of a light-blue colour, which doubtless had been dyed to 
suit the taste of the wearer. Under this appeared a red 
guernsey-frock ; his feet were bare, a green jade earring 
was suspended from one ear. His aspect is that of a 
tall, powerful man, about six feet in height, and appa- 
rently between thirty and forty years of age ; but from 
his being much tattooed, and, like the rest of his country- 
men, his head covered with a profusion of coarse, bushy, 
jet-black hair, renders it a somewhat difficult matter in 
judging of the age of a New Zealander. He received us 
in the cold, calm, taciturn manner natural to these 
savages on a first introduction. Without rising from the 
posture in which we found him, he simply made a sign 
with his hand for us to come under the porch of his hut 
out of the rain, at the same time shaking hands with 
each of us, a ceremony rarely omitted by these people. 
Seated on his left was his wife, seeming to be about his 

Visit to Pcviard at /lis Farm up the Kurrito River. 1 19 

own age. She had long, black hair, lips tattooed of a 
blue colour, and wearing earrings of blue stone, round in 
shape. She was dressed in an old blue gown, over 
which was thrown the native mat of light- coloured flax ; 
she also was smoking her pipe, and at the same time 
suckling her infant, about two months old. 

The favourite daughter was a very lively-looking girl, 
about eleven or twelve years of age, with jet-black eyes, 
and hair as black, worn short, a shark's tooth and red 
sealing-wax suspended from one ear ; her dress an old 
print frock, with a black outer covering, and a dark, thick, 
long-fibred mat worn over her bronzed shoulders as a 
tippet. Her feet were naked. She was all life and 
vivacity, a pretty, intelligent, young savage. My haver- 
sack of specimens having attracted her attention whilst 
I was talking with her father, she darted off, and, quick 
as thought, caught a passing mouse, so keen was her 
bright, black eye, so rapid her movements ; when, 
returning to me with a gratified expression, she added 
this diminutive representative of the mammalia to my 
haversack of specimens. Grouped around were his other 
wives and children, both boys and girls, with an aged 
native or two, some squatted at one end of the porch, 
and others, lounging outside ; there might have been 
thirty or forty altogether. 

On returning to the village we had v lunch of sand- 
wiches and ale at the boat, whilst the natives were making 
their repast on potatoes and cockles, to which fare we 
added some of our sandwiches; but they were more anxious 
for rum, both men and women, nay, even the children 
showed a decided propensity for the " fire-water." This 
habit, with others equalling demoralizing, have been 
introduced among them by the whalers and other 
Europeans of a low order who have settled amongst and 
around them. 

At two p.m., after I had given the chief some percussion- 

' I 

V i 


Voyages of Discovery. 

caps for his gun, we sent the boat round to a tree, a hundred 
or two yards lower down, as the tide was fast ebbing, and 
the consequence shallow water. We then walked across 
a swampy marsh to it, and finally started at 2,30 p.m. 
On our return I gathered a beautiful white clematis here, 
and saw several ducks, but they were far too wary and 
shy to permit us to get within shot of them. At 3.15 p.m. 
we reached the confluence of the Kurrito with the Kava- 
Kava amid heavy rain all the way, continuing without 
the slightest intermission until our return after dark. 

Thursday, i^th. — Fineday. This afternoon Mr. Williams, 
accompanied by his wife and Miss Williams, with one of 
his sons, came on board to see the ship. I gave them some 
Antarctic specimens, and accompanied them on shore to 
the Observatory, where Captain Ross showed them the 
various magnetic instruments. 

Monday, \^th. — Fine day. I left the ship at 7.40 a.m. 
in the gig, on an excursion up the Kava-Kava River, with 
the ebb-tide against us. We pas.sed a quantity of timber 
logs floating down stream. Landed at several of the 
sawyers' huts on the banks, which presented the same 
luxuriant vegetation as on the Kurrito the other day. As 
the river became narrower, we had no small labour in 
getting the boat through, passing two rapids having islets 
in mid-channel. About noon we passed the Kava-Kava 
pah, about 200 yards from the left bank, and landed. A 
rich, alluvial, level tract extends along each side of the 
river, studded with huts and potato patches, enlivened by 
numerous clumps of peach-trees in full bloom. As we 
continued our course for four or five miles, all the way 
through dense woods of lofty pines, amongst which the 
tall, tapering spars of the famed Koudies were very 
conspicuous, rising straight as an arrow, the stream 
made numerous fine curves as it meandered through the 
flat, marshy ground fringed with underwood, in many 
places overhanging the stream so as to form a natural 

Rclunt through dense Woods and darkness to the Boat, 2 2 1 

arcade. Ascending to where the river divides, we 
followed the branch to the right, which at a short distance 
farther on again divides, and becomes so narrow that the 
boat could only be got along by poling. 

As it was now getting late in the day, I made up my 
mind to return, first landing on the potato plantation of 
a fine, venerable-looking old chief, much tattooed, who 
was busily engaged in planting his crop of potatoes ; his 
hut was completely embosomed in the densest wood. I 
saw more birds here than I have met with anywhere else, 
and shot several tui. At 3.30 p.m. we commenced our 
return, with the freshets running about three knots in our 
favour. In returning I landed at the Kava-Kava pah, 
consisting of fifty or sixty huts, enclosed within the usual 
stockade, twelve to fourteen feet high. A rudely built 
church, somewhat resembling a barn in appearance and 
dimensions, stands in the centre, and here the Rev. Mr. 
Williams preaches a sermon in Maori every Sunday. In 
the potato patch, through which a stream runs on its way 
to the river, the natives were planting the tubers. The 
chief, a young man, not much tattooed for a chief, came 
out and shook hands with me. I think he has Seen 
christened Matthew by the missionaries, under whose 
care all the natives of this pah have placed themselves. 

The ebb-tide being in our favour, we started imme- 
diately. At 5. 15 pm. I landed at the entrance to the 
Kurrito, for the boat's crew to get their supper, which 
they cooked over a fire burning outside of a native hut, on 
which cockles were roasting ; the natives were returning 
with bundles of wood from the forest. Whilst the boat's 
crew were at supper I went up the hill in search of 
pigeons, but did not meet with any ; only shot a small 
paroquet. Before I got back to the boat it was dark, and 
so dense was the wood and impenetrable the long, 
tangled fern, in many places higher than my head, that it 
was with no little difficulty I made my way back to the 


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222 I'oyaocs fl/ Discovery. 

boat. At 6.40 p.m. we .shoved off, passing some canoes 
and a light at a sawyer's hut, with the barking of a dog. 
On rounding a point the light at Pomard's pah showed 
itself. At eight p.m. we got on board. Our farthest 
distance up the river must have been twelve to fourteen 
miles from the ship, and the pah up the Kava-Kava not less 
than eight or nine miles. 

Tuesday, 14///. — At 10.30 a.m. I landed at the cove on 
the west side of the bay, and in the ravine over the hill I 
shot a shag, a pigeon, and an owl. In returning at high 
water my course along the beach was cut off, and I had to 
cross over the hill by a native path, through the tea- 
scrub and fern, to Mangrove Point, where I had to wait 
for a boat for an hour and a half, after firing at least a 
do2cn times for one. 

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Trip to Waimatc— The mkiionary sitllenicnt— Ascent of the mountain 
— Descend the crater — The sulphur-springs — P.^marc? visits tlic ship. 

Tuesday, 2\st. — At eleven a.m. I landed at Pahia in the 
gig, to meet the Rev. Mr. Taylor, who, through the kind 
offices of Mr. Williams, had arrived for the purpose of 
accompanying me back to his home, to show mo that 
station and the country in its vicinity. A group cf the 
natives were assembled round Mr. Williams's house. We 
commenced our journey on horseback. The wind 
happened to be in a rainy quarter ; the weather looked 
overcast and threatening. We ascended the hill above 
the creek at the lower end of Pahia. Our road at first 
lay over hill and hollow, by fern and tea-scrub, wood- 
crested summits, and along a narrow path, through which 
both horse and rider had to force their way. At 12.45 
we discovered that we had taken the wrong path, by a 
few huts that appeared on our right, and had to retrace 
our steps, but only for about a hundred yards or sn, 
descending a hill more to the left into a flat valley. About 
one p.m. passed by a Maori village of a few huts, sur- 
rounded by patches of potatoes, kumeras, and other 
vegetables. Crossed a rivulet running through it, and 
wended our way up a hill, from the summit of which 
the aspect of the country appeared quite changed to 
fern-clad hills, destitute of wood, and presenting a most 
bleak and barren appearance, arising, it is said, from the 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

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woods having formerly been burnt down by the natives, 
who, in clearing an acre to plant a few potatoes, often 
destroyed a whole forest of the finest timber. 

At two p.m. we entered a path winding through dense 
brushwood, six to eight feet high, along a flat valley. A 
great deal of flax was growing amongst the rushes, in a 
sedgy, marshy ground. Some peach-trees, with their 
pink bloom, relieved the scene. At three p.m. we forded 
the river Waitangui, about ten yards across ; and on 
coming to four cross paths, over a fern-clad tableland, 
we followed one to the left, in the opposite direction to 
Waimate, to examine some blocks of limestone cropping 
out of the bed of the river, taking us some five or six 
miles out of our way. Reached this spot at 3.45 p.m., 
where the river winds through wood and tall fern, between 
steep banks where it is ten yards wide, and a strong 
current running. 

Two blocks of highly crystalline marble show them- 
selves four or five feet above the surface of the river, and 
a third projecting from the bank, having an E.N.E. and 
W.S.VV. bearing, the course of the river itself being 
S.VV. and N.E. I rode into the stream for the purpose 
of obtaining specimens from the blocks in the centre, to 
compare with the limestone formations about the Bay of 
Islands, but my horse losing his footing in a deep hole of 
water, alongside one of the blocks, was very near being 
carried down stream by the force of the current, and I 
could not induce him to approach the other block. How- 
ever, being resolved to succeed in getting a specimen, 
after having diverged so much from our course for that 
purpose, I tried Mr. Taylor's horse, and, mounting him, 
once more rode into the stream, and after a little buffet- 
ing between horse and current, I got alongside the second 
block ; but, between reining in a restive horse, and using 
my geological hammer at the same time, I only suc- 
ceeded in chipping off a very small fragment, so hard 

ArriViil al W'ainialc. 225 

was the marble, but this served my purpose. A |)air of 
(lucks rose from the banks of the river. 

At 4.45 p.m. we continued on our way over a fern- 
ckid and undulating country. Whin within a quarter of 
a mile of the settlement, the path led through a narrow 
belt of wood, having a most synnnetrical and beautiful 
tree-fern, with a circular top, like an umbrella growing 
isolated on the right-hand side. On emerging from this 
wood, Waimate opened upon us all at once, reposing on 
a level spot encircled by hills of moderate height. The 
first building was the blacksmith's, with a hut or two, and a 
little farther on, on the left of the road, we entered a white 
gate, from which a straight carriagoroad brought us to 
Mr. Taylor's house, after riding about 100 yards. We 
alighted at 5.45 p.m. The house fronts the N.W., and 
is the centre one of three, all constructed on the same 
scale, and the only good houses here, having verandahs 
and large flower-gardens in front, and separated from a 
paddock by a railing. On the right is a pond for the 
ducks, with a water-mill and clump of trees. At about 
200 yards to the left of Mr. Taylor's houses, rises the 
light tapering spire of the neat little church in progress 
of building, beyond which is another clump of trees. 

The whole scene, with its enclosures of clover, and 
parterres of English flowers, remintled me more of some 
quiet, peaceful hamlet in iMigland. than a missionary 
settlement in the wilds of New Zealand, which barely a 
dozen years ago was covered by an almost impenetrable 
fern. After changing my drenched clothes in a small 
bedroom on the left side of the verandah, having two 
windows looking into the garden, which was allotted me 
as a sleeping-room, we all sat down to tea, and turned 
in at eleven p.m 

Wednesday, 22nd. — Arose at seven a.m., and before 
breakfast took a stroll round the garden, which was full 
of English flowers, so welcome to the eye of the wanderer. 

VOL. I. Q 


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Voyages of Discovery. 

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We breakfasted at 7.30, after attending prayers. Both 
the walls and ceilings of the dining-room are of Kauri 
pine, which has a smooth, polished, and dark appear- 
ance. The tables were all covered with the native 

At 10.15 a.m. Mr. Taylor accompanied me on horse- 
back on an excursion to a crater-shaped hill, about ten 
miles distant ; the morning was gloomy. On passing 
through the wood by which we approached Waimate 
yesterday, our course lay to the right, over an undulating, 
fern-clad land ; but in consequence of an impassable 
wood, we had to make a considerable detour^ passing a 
clump of trees on the left, railed in, where wood-cutting 
was going on. At 1 1 .40 a.m. we alighted at the Rev. Mr. 
Williams's farm, managed by his son, about six or seven 
miles from Waimate — a pretty little Maori-built cottage, 
having a thatched roof and reeded sides, with glazed 
windows, and enclosed in a garden, in which the wattle 
was growing in profusion. It is divided by the road from 
the huts occupied by his people, and where two or three of 
the native girls were busily occupied with (heir household 
duties ; very good-looking lasses they were. Two of the 
Maories were ploughing in an adjacent field with four 
oxen yoked to the plough. The back yard was full of 
poultry. I took a glass of ale with young Williams in 
his picturesque little cottage, which, small as it is, he 
has made very comfortable ; a very fancifully ornamented 
rifle hung over the sofa. 

We started again at 12.15 on horseback, accompanied 
by him. At first across level, highly-cultivated fields, 
and extending over many acres, well enclosed by wood 
railings — a fine tract of rich soil, well cleared and pro- 
ductive. After passing a hut on the right, the door 
guarded by a dog on either side, we rounded a hill, 
through long fern, to a small arm of a lake, skirted with 
rushes and underwood, in a valley below the crater hill. 

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Mi ^' 

Descent of an Extinct Crater. 


Here I shot a very pretty little grebe; and at one p.m. 
we commenced the ascent of the mountain. 

At 1.45 p.m., after tying our steeds to the bushes, we 
began the descent through the dense and tangled thickets 
with which the whole interior of the bowl is clothed, to 
the bottom of the crater, a depth of 300 feet, which we 
reached at two p.m. ; fragments of scoria and lava were 
scattered about amongst the rank vegetation and undiT- 
wood at the bottom. The death-like silence and solitude 
of the scene was only broken by the lively and varied 
musical notes of the agile tui or parson-bird, in the top- 
most branches of the tallest trees. I reluctantly shot 
two of them for the collection, and one of them hav- 
ing been only wounded by the discharge of the first 
barrel, after falling on the ground, instantly began climb- 
ing, in nautical phrase, hand-over-hand, up the branches 
of a tree, with the most astonishing celerity, till he was 
checked in his career by a discharge from my second 

We made the ascent from this circular bowl of wood 
at another point which was found still more intricate, 
when, having reached the summit, we remounted our 
horses at 3.15 p.m. This old extinct crater, although of 
small dimensions, not exceeding 300 feet in width at the 
brim, is, without exception, the most perfect and sym- 
metrical model of a volcanic vent or cone, in an extinct 
state, that I have ever seen. On one side is a deep ravine, 
bare of wood, through which the lava-current once found 
an exit. Between it and the margin of the crater is a 
saddle or ridge formed from the scoria and ashes, 
but now clothed with fern, and through which, winding 
round the opposite side of the hill, we reached the sulphur 
springs, to the north, at four p.m. 

These springs are situated in some small swamps and 
pools, overgrown with rushes on a level surface. The 
gas, with which the water is impregnated, is incessantly 

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/ 'ojitj^c's of DisciKTiy. 

bubl)liii<4 to till' surfaci'. Tin- grass around is cncrusicd 
over \vitli deposits of yellow sulphur. After driukinjj 
some of the water, and fdliug a bottle with it, we re- 
mounted our steeds, and reached Mr. Williams's farm at 
4.30 p.m., where we took our leave of him. 

'J'hc remains of former native pahs on the summits of 
the highest hills, present such a ridged appearance as 
to be easily taken for trappean terraces in the distance. 
At five p.m. we forded a river, and I had a shot at a 
brace of ducks which rose from its sedgy banks, but 
missed them, and I have not yet succeeded in obtaining 
specimens of the duck of this country. We arrived at 
Waimate at six p.m., dined at seven p.m., and attended 
the evening lecture from 7.30 to 8.20 p.m., where eighteen 
missionary youths attended, and Mrs. Taylor with her 
maids, both English and Maori. After tea we looked 
over some native shells in a cabinet in the drawing-room, 
and I turned in at 10.30 p.m. 

Thursday^ 23/7/. — After breakfast, Mr. Taylor accom- 
panied me t( ,1 Kauri pine-wood, about three miles distant, 
most of the larger trees having been cut down, and the 
largest living tree which I measured was twenty-four feet 
in circumference, from seventy to eighty feet in height, 
straight as an arrow, and without a branch, till very near 
the top ; a quantity of resin was exuding from the bark 
of this tree. A dead one stand .g about the same 
height measured twenty-eight feet in circumference, and 
a section of a trunk lying on the ground was five feet in 
di,;ineter at the top, and nine feet a little lower down. 
We commenced our return at 11.30; crossed a stream 
over the trunk of a large tree which had fallen across it ; 
n.'ached Waimate at 12.30, and after partaking of an 
early dinner, at 1.30 p.m. 1 took leave of my hospitable 
friends ; at 2.40, mounting my horse, accompanied by 
one of Mr. Taylor's Maories on foot, to carry my traps, 
started on my return to the ship, which I reached at 
eight p.m. 

w 'j,»Sft 

The Chief Poman'^s I '/s// to the Ship. 

Siitiinfny, 25///. — Gloomy day, blowing frrsli, in squalls. 
In I lie afternoon, as our din^y was returning from our 
sheep-station, where AlM-rnethy, our gunner, was in 
charge of the sheep, she was eapsi/ed whilst under sail, 
in one of those sudden squalls so frequent hen-, and 
one of the two marines in her at the time was drowned ; 
poor Barker, one of our best men, not much over twenty 
yi'.'irs of age, who had been one of my own boat's crew 
in the Kc-rguelen's Land boating expedition. The other 
marint' was taken from the keel of the boat, to which he 
had clung till a boat, crossing the river at the time, 
rescued him from bis perilous position, and took him to 
the barracks, to which 1 at once proceeded in the cutter 
to see him ; he was in a state of great exhaustion. 
Afterwards I crossed the bay to the pah, to which the 
dingy had been towed, but could get no tidings what- 
ever of the other poor fellow. 

Tiicsdav, 28///. — ;\bout noon, Pomare, the chief of the 
Bay of Islands, paid a formal visit to the ship, accom- 
panied by twenty-four of his tribe, in his larg3 canoe ; a 
flag was displayed in the bows, and the model of a war- 
canoe lay at the bottom of the boat. She was paddled 
alongside by the women, when the whole party, with the 
exception of two or three left in charge of the boat, came 
on board. 

Pomare, on reaching the quarter-deck, took up his 
position in a very stately attitude by the companion-hatch. 
On Captain Ross coming to receive him, he asked in 
vtrvgood English if he was the captain. He was dressed 
in his state robes, a cap with broad gold lace round it, 
showy-coloured flax mat negligertly thrown over his 
shoulders, beneath which a buff-waistcoat with gilt but- 
tons appeared, as also his shirt-sleeves; his trousers of 
scarlet cloth, with a black band running down the side 
seams, and a pair of high shoes, completed his costume. 
His chief wife had her long black hair bound up within a 
polished metallic fdlet, with a number of bead necklaces 

f ■ 

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P'oy(7j^i's of Discovery. 

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round her neck, having a black and yellow flax mat over 
her shoulders. The youngest daughter (whom I had 
seen when up the Kurrito River, at her father's potato 
ground, where she caught me a mouse for my haversack) 
wore earrings of a mass of white down from the albatross 
suspended in striking contrast with her copper-coloured 
shoulders, over which the ordinary flax mat was carelessly 
thrown. Like the rest of her tribe, she had a pipe in 
her mouth — smoking is a general habit even amongst the 
youngest children in New Zealand. The chief and his 
wife descended with Captain Ross to his cabin, where 
I hey had wine and trinkets given to them ; and Pomare 
himself got a rifle as a present. The rest of the suite 
assembled in the gun-room, where they partook of wine 
and biscuit or grog, according to their tastes. They 
soon cleared our shelves of all the newspapers ; and from 
my own cabin I distributed amongst them skeins of thread 
of various colours, which seemed to be in great request 
amongst them, especially by Queen Pomare, as she 
styled herself. When shown the portrait of our own 
queen suspended over the gun-room table, she remarked, 
" Ah ! ,ih ! queene, queene ! all de same as me ! " They 
remained on board about two hours, highly amused with 
all they saw. From us they went on board the Terror. 

IVcdiiesday, 29///. — Fine day. At eleven a.m. I landed 
at Mangrove Creek, and walked up the ravine, over 
Kingfisher Hill, through a sedgy swamp at the extremity 
of a mangrove creek, after making the circuit of the 
wooded ravine, till I fell up^/n a native path, where I 
shot a specimen of the beautiful pigeon of the island, on 
the very edge of the ravine, which, from its falling amongst 
the trees and long fern beneath, cost mean hour's loss of 
time in searching for it, but as I ultimately found it, it was 
well worth the trouble. Following a path in the direction 
of the observatory, I reached it at six p.m., after shooting 
two lul. 

I "" .f ».' il 

First Copy of Nezo Testament in Maori Language. 


Sunday, October yd. — After divine service on board, 
I landed at Pahia, and called on the Rev. Mr. Williams, 
who presented me with a copy of the New Testament in 
the Maori language, the " first " copy printed, and the 
selfsame copy which Mr. Williams himself had been in 
the habit of using for years past in his pulpit, when 
preaching to his native congregation in their own lan- 
guage. He also gave me an invitation to dine with him 
on Tuesday next, to meet Mr. Fitzgerald, the Govern- 
ment Resident here. After partaking of some wine and 
cake with the family, he gave me a passage on board 
in his own galley, on his way to the barracks, where he 
preaches this afternoon. 

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Kiddi-Kiddi Fulls, New Ze.iland. {See paj^e 236.) 


. 1 i i'« 


Up the Kava-Knva River — Excursions — The Kiddi-Kiddi River and 
Falls — Public discussion between Protestant and Roman Catholic 


Monday, October ^tlt. — Lt.'ft the ship at 5.30 a.m. in the 
gig, on an excursion to the Waiomio marble formation, 
Captain Ross having given me his own boat's crew for 
the purpose. The morning was moist and overcast, with 
rain at intervals. At six a.m. I entered the main branch 
of the Kava-Kava, and left the boat at the second 
sawyer's hut on the left bank. Then, ascending a ridge, 
followed a path to the pah, through which we passed at 
7.30 a.m., a mile from the boat. From thence we con- 
tinued our route along ridges of tea-scrub and long fern, 
bare of trees. At 8.30 a.m. crossed a rivulet, having a 
small cascade, or fall, of ten feet over basalt. At 8.35 
reached the first three blocks of the Waiomio limestone. 


Excursion to Waiomio. 


nine or ten feet in height, on the side of a low hill, 
amongst tall fern. 

On descending from this to a valley on the opposite 
side, and just as I was about clambering up the highest 
of the groups of rocks, some forty feet in height, my 
steps were ai rested by the sudden apparition of an aged 
Maori chief, who hailed me, and endeavoured to make 
me understand that I was approaching " tabooed " ground, 
consecrated as a burial-place, and the natives are still 
very sensitive in all these matters with reference to the 
"taboo." I at once desisted from advancing a step 
farther, and accompanied him to his village at Waiomio, 
just below, situated in a fine valley skirted by a meander- 
ing river, which takes a south-east and north-west course 
through it. 

It was 9.30 a.m. when we reached the village, consist- 
ing of about thirty huts, and at the chief's wigwam I saw 
the most aged-looking native I have yet met with, and, 
from the way in which the chief introduced him to me, I 
concluded he was his father. I ascended a coarse, bluff, 
buff-coloured mass of limestone, having a patch of 
potato-ground at its base, and from the summit of a fern- 
clad hill, strewed over with fragments of greenstone, I 
had a general view of the range of limestone rocks arising 
from the declivities of the valley in isolated masses, from 
ten to forty feet in height, horizontally pointed, with 
sharply-defined angular edges, irregularly pointed at the 
top, and presenting a castellated appearance, the whole 
intermingled with trees and underwood. These groups 
of limestone form an irregular and interrupted circle, 
the general bearing of which have a W.S.VV. and 
E.N.E. direction, the apparently magnesian limestone 
being nearer north and south. The general aspect of 
the country around consists of barren and fern-clad 
ridges, with here and there a clump of wood merging 
from some ravine. The distance from the river, where 



yoyag-es of Discovery. 


\ .[ 

we left the boat, about four miles. At 1 1.30 a.m. we 
commenced our return by another path, as I make it a 
rule never to retrace my steps, and thus waste time, if a 
new route by arv chance presents itself. Our way now 
lay along the edge of a wooded ravine, through fern and 
tea-scrub. We heard the report of guns in the village, 
doubtless the chief trying some of the percussion caps I 
had given him. After proceeding some two miles, we 
descended a deep, circular bowl or hollow, clothed with 
fern and underwood, and about 300 feet in depth, having 
a narrow river running through it, winding along in a 
very tortuous course, nearly forming the figure of 8 in its 
doublings. A few natives had built their huts here, amid 
potato plantations. On crossing the stream, and emerg- 
ing on the opposite side, I came upon the only outlet 
to this singular glen in the mountains, due, evidently, to 
some ancient crater, of which it is the only remnant 
left. I now followed the mazy windings of the stream 
downwards, in the direction of its course towards the 
main branch of the Kava-Kava, to within about two 
miles of its confluence with that river, just above the 
pah. So tortuous is its course between wooded hills on 
either side, one curve doubling on another, that we 
had every few yards to ford the stream. We passed 
many huts and native villages, scattered along its 
banks. The natives were busy planting their potatoes. 
In one spot I tasted som ' 'meras an old native 
woman was roasting over a f • . che open air, and found 
them delicious, as baked in this underground oven in 
heated stones covered over with soil. Saw only one 
pigeon, a hawk, and a fe-v tui. 

Following a native path over fern-clad table-land for 
about a mile, we reached a good cross-path, having 
a view of both the Kava-Kava and Kurrito rivers, reach- 
ing our boat, concealed by a headland on the left, at 
two p.m. Passing down the river, we were off Pomar^'s 

!i i 

Excursion up the Kiddi-Kiddi River. 


pah at four p.m., and proceeded up the Waikaddi with 
the flood-tide. I shot a gannet from an old native 
woman's canoe, who paddled me nearer to the mud-flats 
than our own boat could approach, from the shallowness 
of the banks. After drinking some wine which I gave 
her for her trouble, and with which she seemed much 
pleased, she returned to a slave-girl she had left on the 
mud-flat picking up cockles, their favourite food. 

The Waikaddi, as it passes by the left of the pah, is a 
wide river for about eight miles, afterwards, winding round 
some flats to the right, it becomes suddenly reduced to 
a narrow stream, terminating about half a mile higher up 
among mangrove bushes. It now being six p.m., and 
having the wind, as w^ell as a strong flood-tide against us 
all the way back, we did not get on board the ship till 
nine p.m. 

Tuesday, ^th. — S" ..y day. At three p.m. I left the 
ship for Pahia, to dine with Mr. Williams, where I met at 
dinner Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald, with their two children. 
After dinner looked over an herbarium of native plants, 
seaweeds, fossils, and drawings, in the drawing-room, 
where we had tea at nine p.m. Mr. Williams's boat put me 
on board, landing the Fitzgeralds at Russelton on the 
way, and where, on the following day, I dined with them 
at 4.30 p.m., and left at nine p.m. 

Tuesday, \gth. — At five a.m. I left the ship in one of 
our boats, the morning overcast and threatening rain, 
and when off Pahia we encountered a pelting shower. But 
at eight a.m. the weather cleared up, and I made sail up 
the river, which is wide, passing between islets and rocks 
on the port shore. At nine passed a creek on the left, a 
little beyond which the river divides into two branches, 
becoming narrower. I followed the branch to the left, 
winding in zigzag curves. Saw a hawk on the bank, 
low hills on each side. At 9.30 p.m. passed a pipe-clay 
formation on the right bank, about twelve feet in height, 



Voyages of Discovery, 

ii 1^ 

direction south-west and north-east. A little higher up 
a fine mass of columnar greenstone of hexagonal form 
crops out. At 9.40 reached Mr. Kemp's station, a 
pretty place, with a neat church and farmlike-looking 
house at the top of the river. Met Mr. Taylor here, and 
walked up the hill above the house to the spot which 
had witnessed so many of the murders and atrocities 
perpetrated by the notorious chief Shongi, who once 
resided near this, and died a few years ago. At 11.30 
Mr. Kemp gave me as a guide to the Falls of the Kiddi- 
Kiddi a native lad. On crossing the river, and over a 
fern-clad table-land, by a narrow track, a distant group 
of what appears to the eye merely underwood, rising a 
little above the level of the plain, alone indicates the 
ravine in which they are situated, when the Falls burst 
upon you very suddenly. On reaching the edge of the 
ravine, however, what appeared to be bushes in the 
distance now assumed the form of tall trees, growing out 
of the acclivities of the ravine, with their tops alone 
showing above it. 

The fall is over a perpendicular wall of rock — basalt — 
on the right, about eighty feet in height, and the width of 
the stream perhaps fifty feet. It descends into a deep and 
finely-wooded ravine, strewed over with fragments of rock, 
the river below the falls being about 100 feet across. I 
waded through it about 100 yards above the falls, and 
walked along the opposite bank to the mouth of the cave 
at the back of the falls, over the ferns amongst the 
underwood and trees. 

The cave is nearly 100 feet wide, about forty feet in 
height, and much the same in depth ; the roof encrusted 
over, and the floor strewed with ochreous clays, amongst 
which small herbaceous plants and ferns were growing. 

The striking scene before my eyes, formed by the 
curtain of falling water intermingled with vapour and mist 
in front of me, with the rushing sound of the falling water, 



Pass behind the Kiddi-Kiddi Falls. 


as it descended in a wide sheet from the steep precipice 
above, amply repaid me for any amount of labour entailed 
in reachinii; so remarkable a position for observing it. On 
the other side of the cave I succeeded in getting over a 
narrow ledge of rocks up the bank, which saved me from 
retracing my steps — always objectionable to me — for a 
long way round, and having to cross the river again ; but 
1 found it very slippery, with barely any foothold even for 
the toes, so that a false step would have plunged me into 
the foaming stream beneath me. At 12.30 I had reached 
the summit of the bank, and started on my return at 
12.45, cift^er making a hasty sketch of the falls, as 
shown in the accompanying engraving. I reached Mr. 
Kemp's station at 1.40 p.m., and with a fresh breeze 
shoved off in my boat down the river. At two p.m. I 
got some specimens of the columnar basalt, or rather 
greenstone, and some of the pipe-clay. It being ebb- 
tide, I landed on the mud flats, which are extensive, and 
dry at low water ; saw a heron or bittern, and a brace or 
two of ducks, but all were too wary to get within shot of 
them. I shot one small sandpiper out of a flock. The 
weather now becoming wet and squally, I made sail on 
the boat, and, beating down, cleared the river at six p.m. 
Landed just round the headland on the right, near a cor- 
morant rookery, built on the tops of the trees ; there were 
a number of nests, chiefly confined to two trees ; some of 
the birds were sitting, and I also heard the cry of young 
birds. The parent birds were hovering overhead in great 
numbers, in much excitement and alarm. I shot four for 
specimens, and might have killed any number had I 
needed them. I shoved off again at 6.45 p.m., in a dark 
and stormy night, eight miles still between me and the 
ship, but we now made sail with both the wind and tide 
in our favour. Saw the Kororarika lights in passing. I 
found the same argillaceous character of the hills, with 
greenstone along the banks of the Kiddi-Kiddi (with the 



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Voyixges 0/ Discovery, 

addition of the pipe-clay) as on the shores of the bay itself. 
I got safe on board the ship again at 8.30 p.m., after a 
somewhat boisterous passage. 

Thursday, 21st. — Fine day. At ten a.m. I landed at 
Russelton on a shooting excursion. Shot a bittern in the 
mangrove swamp, three small sedge-birds, a lark, and two 
warblers. On the following day I was fully employed 
skinning and preserving my birds, ten in all. Captain 
Leviche, of the Herione, French frigate, recently arrived, 
came on board, accompanied by his first lieutenant, to 
call on Captain Ross ; and Captain Ross on the following 
day returned his call, and was saluted with nine guns, 
which number we returned. 

Sunday, i\th. — H.M.S. Favourite arrived at nine a.m., 
and I dined on board of her. 

Tuesday, •2.6th. — Fine, warm day. At eight a.m. I break- 
fasted at Mr. Fitzgerald's, and accompanied him and his 
wife to Kororarika, to attend a conference held there 
between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Missions. 
At ten a.m. we found both rival parties assembled under a 
temporary shed, erected for the purpose with some planks, 
near the native pah, encircled by a large group of natives. 
Having escorted Mrs. Fitzgerald and another lady to 
Mr. Burroughs's (the clergyman) house up the hill, and 
left them under the verandah with Miss Williams, I 
returned to the beach and remained at the conference till 
three p.m., when it was adjourned till the following day. 
All three of the captains arrived just as it was over, 
and we repaired to the clergyman's house for lunch, 
after which I took a passage with him in his boat, 
accompanied by Mr. Taylor, to Pahia. From thence I 
walked along the beach to the observatory, and got on 
board at 6.15 p.m. This meeting appears to have been 
brought about to try the strength of the two contending 
parties by discussing certain points of religion in the 
native language, thus affording the New Zealanders an 

Protestant and Roman Catholic Conference Assembled. 239 

opportunity of judging for themselves which of the two 
creeds it might be most desirable to become converts to. 

Mr. W'lliams, as the head of the Church Missionary 
Society, was the principal speaker, and, from the attentive 
manner in which the Maories listened to him, most unques- 
tionably had the best part of it and the greatest influence 
with them. The point which gave rise to the warmest part 
of the controversy was that of the worshipping of images^ 
in which the Roman Catholics clearly went to the wall. 
There were three of their priests present, two of them the 
chief speakers. Their attendants occupied another table 
in the rear, containing books and plates for reference, with 
pens, ink, and paper. On the opposite side, seated with 
writing materials before him, was Mr. Williams, chairs 
and benches being placed between them for the accom- 
modation of visitors. Mr. Fitzgerald took his seat between 
the contending parties as president. Each party was 
allowed a quarter of an hour for his speech. The priests 
made a great fuss about the answers and signatures to 
some questions. 

A son of the talented and amusing author of VVaterton's 
" Wanderings in South America " was present ; a staunch 
Catholic, and evidently, from his personal appearance, a 
more eccentric character even than his father, the ^reat 
ornithologist himself. The motley group of Maories 
assembled around formed not the least interesting part of 
the programme, in their many and varied grotesque 
costumes. In th'^ front rank were several old chiefs, 
squatted on their haunches on the bare ground, some with 
gold-laced caps, others in round hats or straw ones, and 
not a few having only their natural covering of thick, 
coarse, bushy, black hair. One would appear wrapped 
within the folds of a flax mat of native manufacture, 
another with a common blanket carelessly thrown over 
his brawny shoulders. Pea-jackets also, with red guernsey 
frocks, and even camlet cloaks, formed part of their 

H \ 



l^iyagis 0/ Discovery. 

H ) 

costumes ; coloured shirts being in general use as under 
garments, with scarlet merino and silk stocks. Amongst 
the female part of the audience prints and ginghams were 
the fashion ; and there was one pretty Maori girl, about 
fifteen or sixteen years of age, whose graceful and sylph- 
like figure did ample justice to her dressmaker, whoever 
she was. The whole scene was of so novel a nature, 
enhanced, too, by such lovely weather, as one is not likely 
to have an opportunity of witnessing again. The French 
frigate sailed to-day. 

Wednesday, 2 7///. — Rainy day. I landed on the 
observatory shore shooting, but only succeeded in getting 
a tui and a fantail. The conference at Kororarika was 
brought to a conclusion this afternoon, after which 
Messrs. Williams and Taylor dined with me on board at 
6.30 p.m. 

From Thursday, 28th, to Saturday, 30th, I have been 
very busily employed in skinning and preserving birds, 
bittern, cormorant, &c., and arranging my specimens of 
natural history. The natives coming on board furnished 
me with many of the vernacular names in their own 
euphonious language. 

Monday, November \st. — The Fitzgeralds sailed for 
Auckland, and the two captains started on an excursion 
to the Waimate. 

Thursday, ^th. — The Albatross yacht arrived, her 
owner, Mr. Blackett, bringing me the first number of 
the journal of the Tasmanian Natural History Society, 
kindly sent me from Hobart Town by the Governor, Sir 
John Franklin. 



Trip inland, and my niglit out in the woods — Shooting birds— Sail from 
the Bay of Islands after three months' stay. 

Tuesday, gtli, at eleven a.m. — Finding that the beautiful 
pigeon of the island was so scarce in the immediate 
vicinity of the anchorage, I determined on making my 
way through the dense woods and ravines as far as I could 
accomplish in the day direct inland from the ships, with 
the view of obtaining specimens for the Government 
ornithological collection, to be transmitted from this place 
to England. 

Starting from the observatory above the small river, and 
over the hill at the head of the mangrove swamp, I 
followed the native paths through the tea-scrub, winding 
along the summits or sides of the hills and ridges^ 
sometimes through short or tall fern, now and then pene- 
trating some densely-wooded summit, through which it is 
frequently very difficult to follow the faint traces of a 
path bewildered amid the rank vegetation and tall fern 
growing beneath the lofty timber-trees. These native 
paths are found passing over most of the hills in the 
vicinity of the bay, and branching off in every direction, 
but seldom descending into the deep and thickly-wooded 
ravines, which are so closely interwoven with the long 
lianes and parasitical plants, fern, and underwood, as to 
render them all but impermeable even to the native, and 
to keep a path open is out of the question where the 

VOL. I. R 



) i 


/ 'ojdj^rs of Discovery. 


ijrowtli of vegetation is so rapid. Here I shot two small, 
dark-coloured species of sylvia, a bird of such quiet, 
unobtrusive habits, as only to be found in the bottoms of 
the most thickly-wooded ravines, in the silence and soli- 
tude of which they hop from twig to twig, like young 
robins in their habits. 

In the farthest ravine I reached, certainly not more 
than some five or six miles in a direct line, as the crow 
flies, from the bay, though at the very least double that 
distance in the course I had to follow — winding round the 
edges of some ravines, and threading through the dense 
mazes in the depths of others — I ultimately lost every 
trace of a path, which, for some time previously, had 
become all but obliterated. I shot a new bird in this 
ravine — at least, one we had not met with before, belong- 
ing to the corviihe family, and about the size of a jay, of 
a dark slate colour, with wattles of an azure blue on its 
throat — and lost some time in searching for its mate, 
and also in the search for a pigeon, out of two which 1 
had shot, falling into the long fern. So difficult a matter 
is it here to find your game without the aid of a dog, 
that the bird in question was cold and stiff when at last 
I picked it up. 

It being already 4.30 p.m., the night fast closing in, 
with an intricate, almost trackless course back to the 
ship, before me, I commenced my return ; but missing 
the track between two wooded ravines, I took the 
wrong side of one of them, and eventually got so out of 
my course to the right, that I became benighted before I 
could recover the track in the direction of the ships, 
of which about dusk I got a momentary glance from the 
summit of a hill bounded by an impassable ravine, cut- 
ting me entirely off from them. After a fruitless attempt 
to turn the hill, the darkness increased so much that I 
could no longer see my way. 

I gave up all hope of reaching the ship, and at once 

A A^i^/it's Bivouac in (lie Forest. 



prepared to rough it out in the hush for the night. 
Striking up to the right, through a great deal of tall fern, 
I descended a very det-p and densely wooded ravine in 
search of water, so exceedingly thirsty had I hi-conic 
from the extreme heat and toil I had gone through during 
the day. When about halfway down, groping in the 
dark, I laid my ear to the ground, and the sound kA 
running water was distinctly heard. I discovered a tiny 
rill, oozing over the rocks at the bottom, as it mur- 
mured along, and from it I quenched my thirst with a 
draught of nature's refreshing beverage ; this, with a bit 
of ship's biscuit I had in my pocket, formed my frugal 
supper; for having intended being on board to a late 
dinner, I had had nothing else since breakfast, and was 
rather lightly clothed (in a thin duck shooting-jacket) to 
bivouac out in the open air. 

The bottom of this ravine was brilliantly illuminated 
by numerous phosphorescent particles, arising from the 
decomposition of the decaying wood, glittering like so 
many glow-worms or fire-flies, affording light enough to 
enable me to see the time by my watch, which indicated 
eleven p.m. I now descended to the opposite side, in 
search of a suitable place in which to take up my quarters 
for the night, and on the ridge above, by the side of a 
wooded hill, found a small, open glade, between the trees, 
having a large mangrove swamp below and in front, 
extending onwards to Fomare Bay, the pah lights being 
visible. I felled the dead slender trunk of a tree, around 
which some withered clematis had entwined, which was 
standing near ; separating the dry clematis from the dead 
wood, I rolled it round me as a covering for the night, 
this, with some long fern, constituted ray couch, on 
which I resigned myself to sleep, worn out and wearied. 
The green fern growing around was all wet with the dew. 

The night proved mild and starlight, the silence being 
broken at intervals by the harsh notes of a small owl, 

R 2 



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J'oyagcs of Discovery 

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I - 1' 

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much resembling, both in size and colour, our own little 
passerine owl ; the Ruru-Ruru of the natives, or Sirix 
Ahva Zcalandicc of ornithologists. This bird had selected 
the topmost branches of a tree, immediately over my 
head, for his station, from which he incessantly sent forth 
his monotonous cry of " more-pork, more-pork," through- 
out the long and wearisome night. About three a.m. 
I heard the crowing of the cocks and the barking of ihe 
dogs in a native village not far distant, but separated 
from me by the mangrove swamp, over which it would 
have been next to impossible to make my way in the 
darkness of the night ; though not more, perhaps, than 
a mile orf on the shores of the bay. Before the sun ap- 
peared above the horizon, as the small hours wore on, I 
heard the musical notes of that pretty mocking-bird of 
this country, the tui, or parson-bird, and another small 
bird belonging to the fly-catchers, the earliest risers here. 
A light shower now fell, and the sky became much over- 
cast. I arose at 4.30 p.m., and heard the voices of the 
natives in their village at some distance. But the rain 
now falling in heavy showers, delayed my departure till 
5.30 p.m., when, freeing myself from my tunic of entwining 
clematis, and taking up my gun from beneath me, I 
ascended the hill in my rear. Saw two pigeons amongst 
the trees, one of which 1 shot. I next made my way 
over a fern-clad hill to the left, following a native path 
which seemed to lead in the direction of the ship, 
descending a hill to the bay, by a sawyer's hu*:. The 
ridges ran E. and W., the lateral spurs at right angles, 
N. and S. generally. I shot a fantail and a paroquet 
returning. Got on board at eleven a.m. 

Wednesday, \']th. — I landed at Pahia; very fine day. 
I called and took leave of Mr. Williams's family. Miss 
Williams had kindly obtained for my herbarium the first 
blossoms of the Pohutokava {^Mctrosidcros iornieiiiosa), a 
large forest-tree, attaining a height of from sixty to 


■c till 




a), a 


Bmhixrk Natural I/isfory Spainiciis for England. 245 

seventy feet, the timber of wliich is so hard and durable 
as to obtain for it the name of the New Zealand oak ; 
the leaves, which are of a shining, deep oreen, change to 
a bright scarlet before falling. The beautiful rich coral- 
like crimson of the flowers contrasts strikingly with the 
normal dccp-greon, clustering foliage. The tree from 
which Miss Williams succeeded in procuring the blossoms 
rises from the embankment overhanjfinii: the shores of the 
bay in the vicinity of Pahia, just before reaching Mr. 
Williams's residence, and was only just beginning to unfold 
its blossoms. 

Iliiirsday, \Stli. — Very line, warm day. Mr. Williams's 
two sons came on board to take leave of me, bringing 
me a large bouquet of flowers ; and soon after they had 
lef^, their father came on board and lunched in the gun- 
room, at which Captain Ross joined us. The Jupiter 
arriving from Auckland this morning, I embaiked on 
board of her my three cases of specimens of natural 
history for lingland, when she sailed in the afternoon 
for Sydney. 

Siiuday^ list. — Fine day. I went on shore to Pahia, 
and took my final leave of my kind friends the Williams 
family, who had given me every aid m their power in my 
natural history pursuits. On the following day I again 
landed for the last time in New Zealand, at the observa- 
tory, at nine a.m. Fine, warm, sunny weather. I strolled 
along the beach as far as the Waitungui River, and, 
returning over the hills at the back of Pahia, obtained an 
almanack in the New Zealand language from Colenso's 
printing-office at Pahia. I also gathered a few more of 
the blossoms from the pohutokava tre?, which were 
rather diflicult to get at, from the height of the branches 
above the argillaceous cliffs o\erhanging the bay. Re- 
turned on board at 5.20 p.m. 

On Saturday last a murder was committed by the 
natives at Paroa i3ay, and the house set on lire ; an 




I 'oyaocs of Discovery. 

J i 

.1- "} 


Englishwoman and a man-servant, with a native child, 
were the victims. As a rising amongst the natives was 
apprehended last night, the Favourite s boat about mid- 
night came alongside of us, manned and armed, and 
under the command of her first lieutenant, for orders 
before proceeding to the town ; but, on finding all quiet, 
returned on board. 

Tuesday, November 2yd. — At 4.45 a.m. we sailed from 
the Bay of Islands in company with H.M.S. Favourite^ 
after a sojourn of somewhat more than three months. At 
eight a.m. we were fairly outside of the harbour and at 
sea. Our decks had all the appearance of a farm-yard, 
from the sea stock, consisting of oxen, sheep, goats, 
pigs, and poultry, and each quarter was festooned with a 
line of pumpkins. 

The entrance to the Bay of Islands is about eleven 
miles in width, and the entire length of the two islands 
may be estimated at about 800 miles, and averaging 100 
miles in breadth, distant from Australia about 1200 miles. 
The mountains attain a height of some 14,000 feet; the 
Keri-Keri Falls descend from a height of ninety feet. 
The mean temperature of the climate at midsummer 
(February) is 66° Fahr., and in June, midwinter, 48°. 
Waimate is twelve miles from the Bay of Islands ; Mount 
Campbell, near the North Cape, rises abruptly from the 
sea to 800 feet, having greenstone on the south and 
sandstone on the north side. 





Second attempt to reach the South Pole — In tlie ice-pack — Our 
Christmas fare— Large penguins — A ball-room cut in the ice— Our 
Antarctic hotel — A white petrel falls a victim to the New Year. 

Tuesday, November 2'^rd, 1841. — At noon we found 
ourselves in lat. 35° 14' S., and long. 174° 39' E., ther- 
mometer 65°, wind S.VV., a fine, fresh, and fair wind for 
Chatham Island. Captain Sullivan came on board and 
took leave of us, and on his returning to his ship, the 
Favourite manned her rigging and cheered us, which we 
duly returned, and stood to the southward, whilst she 
shaped her course for Auckland; saw many gannets and 
stormy petrel about. 

Friday, 26th. — Having entered west longitude, by 
crossing the meridian of 180°, we consequently make eight 
days in the week, and a repetition of this day in to- 
morrow's log. The gale of last night has subsided, but 
the wind coming round unfair for Chatham Island, pre- 
vents us from anchoring there as originally intended. 

On Monday, 13th of December, in lat. 55° 18', long. 
149° 20', W., we crossed the circle of uniform tempera- 
ture of the ocean, the temperature not varying one degree 
throughout the entire depth. 

Thursday, i6th. — Nothing worth recording has trans- 
pired for some days past. The birds about us have 
been Diomedia exulens, or the wandering albatross, 
with the sooty and the black-backed kinds, many young 
immature birds, blue and black petrel numerous, a few 


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l^oydges of Discovery. 


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penguins, and a group of black and white porpoises. 
Several soundings have been made for the temperature 
of the water. At six a.m. I saw the first berg at some 
distance in the horizon, but smaller and far less imposing 
in its appearance than the one we first fell in with last 
year. At 8.30 a.m. we passed a larger one. The tem- 
perature of the air at noon was 48° and that of the sea 33°. 
Only a few straggling pieces of ice about ; weather hazy, 
chilly, gloomy, and overcast; saw some Cape pigeon, 
blue petrel, and Diomedia fnltginosn, but the common 
albatross has now altogether left us. The crow's-nest 
was got up to-day. 

Saiiii'day, iSth. — Early this morning we entered the 
pack ; the ice was generally loose, but having some heavy 
pieces amongst it, with several large bergs. Working 
through lanes of water all day, with a fair wind for the 
south. I saw the first white petrel to-day, with an 
Antarctic and Cape petrel or two, a gigantic petrel was 
flying about the ship. Saw several whales spouting in 
the distance ; one finner passed close to the ship, and 
another dived down under her bottom from the bows. 

Our deck all day has presented a sad scene of slaughter, 
the six sheep remaining, with most of our pigs, were 
killed, and suspended over the quarter-boats. The last 
ox was killed yesterday, and I preserved the horns. Our 
fodder running short cost the poor animals their lives at 
an earlier date than would otherwise have been the case. 
This afternoon I went up to the crow's-nest for the first 
time since it was got up, to have a look at the ice ; saw 
a large berg, which I took a sketch of after coming down 
from aloft. At 8.30 p.m. I shot the first white petrel as 
it was flying over the main-truck, when it fell on the keel 
of the boat amidships. At 9.45 p.m. I shot the first 
Antarctic petrel, which fell into the weather-chains, and 
I gave it to Captain Ross, who takes much interest in 
collecting birds, and skins them himself. The day was 

Astonishment of a Seal on being peppered by No. 4 Shot. 249 

very fine, with a beautiful sunset behind a berg, bearing 
S. \ W. I heard the note of the white petrel, a kind 
of murmuring cackle, as two were chasing each other. 
At eleven p.m. the thermometer was 28°, lat. 62° 50', 
long. 147° 25'. 

Monday^ 20th, — Sailing through loose ice, several 
whales blowing near the ship. Three seals caught on 
the ice, the last one having the stomach full of shrimps. 
Captain Rr ss went away in the boat and got soundings 
in 1 700 f;ichoms. I shot another white petrel during the 
first watch, which I secured by its falling into the quarter- 
boat, or rather upon the quarter deck. 

Tuesday, 21st. — Sailing amongst heavy pack-ice, pass- 
ing many seals, and a silver-grey one was caught. Whilst 
I was sketching the ice, a seal asleep on a piece of ice 
passed on the weathtr quarter, when, having my gun 
charged with small shot lying alongside of me, I could 
not resist the impulse to fire at him, to see how he would 
act, for at the distance he was it could njt injure him in 
the least, but simply tickle his tough hide and frighten 
him. Indeed I never saw an animal look so astonished 
as he did, on being roused from his siesta by the shower 
of No. 4 shot falling around him. He lost no time in 
shuffling his unwieldly form towards the edge of the ice, 
at the same time elevating his head with open jaws, and 
staring about him. Thunder-storms are somewhat rare 
phenomena in high latitudes, or he might have thought 
that he had been struck by lightning. The latitude 
to-day was 64° 50', long. 1 53° 23'. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — This morning we found the sea 
nearly clear of ice, and were congratulating ourselves 
that we had passed through the whole of the pack, when 
about noon we entered within another margin, which 
became heavier as we proceeded on, till about midnight, 
when we were completely hampered amongst heavy 
masses. The day was otherwise fine, and we passed a 

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2 50 Voyages of Discovery. 

number of seals on the ice ; three were caught, an old 
and two young ones, and another young one of a darker 
colour, and I measured and weighed them all. 

At six p.m. a penguin of the largest kind was seen on 
the ice, and the starboard quarter-boat being lowered, I 
went in pursuit of him, accompanied by Abernethy, our 
gunner, and the junior mate. Being t!ie first of the 
large species that we have seen, and new to us, I resolved 
to give him no ch ance of escape, by shooting him through 
the centre of the body with a ball from my old double- 
barrel ; yet on landing upon the piece of ice to secure 
him, he displayed as much strength and energy as if he 
had only been struck by a few grains of small shot, so 
powerful is the structure and tenacity of life in these 
magnificent birds. I had to put an end to his sufferings 
on getting him on board ; he weighed sixty-four pounds. 
I shot a white petrel on the same piece of ice. As we 
were returning to the ship two more large penguins 
appeared on the ice at some distance. At nine p.m. I 
again went away in the same cutter after two small 
penguins, of which I shot one and a white petrel, in 
lat. 65° 20', long. 154° 19'. 

Thursday, 2yd. — Weather gloomy and overcast. At 
eleven a.m., accompanied by Abernethy, I went away in 
the starboard quarter-boat in the pursuit of a large 
penguin on a piece of ice. He took the water from this, 
and got upon an adjacent piece, which I pulled round to, 
leaving the gunner and part of the boat's crew behind to 
intercept him in the event of his retreating to the same 
spot again ; which he did after a chase across the ice, 
'-"^d was ultimately caught by the gunner on the very 
;- ^m'^ piece of ice on which we at first saw him ; his 
w'ight sixty-four pounds and a half. At 1.40 p.m. we 
maHe fast to a floe-piece, and took on board twelve tons 
frtMU .!>e hummocks on it, to complete our water. At 
7.45 p.m., just as we were about casting off from it, I 

Shoot first laroc Potgvin -n'it/i Ball, 


shot a white petrel, which fell on it. At 8.30 p.m. I 
went in pursuit of a large penguin, accompanied by Dr. 
Hooker and the junior mate. He gave us a long chase 
over the piece of ice, making off on his breast along the 
surface of the snow, propelling himself with his fiipper- 
like wings and his feet with astonishing rapidity, whilst 
we sank up to the knees at every step. I came up with 
him first, and, as I stopped his way with a stick, the 
mate got hold of him, and he was finally escorted down 
to the boat between myself and one of the boat's crew, 
one having hold of each flipper, as depicted in Captain 
Ross's narrative of the voyage, in the heading of a 
chapter. He weighed sixty-one pounds and a half. We 
had to make a considerable circuit to the piece of ice, 
forcing the boat through very narrow channels by break- 
ing away the ice. Passed two seals swimming in the 
water as we returned on board at 9.30 p.m. Two whalers 
passed the ship. Another penguin, weighing fifty-four 
pounds and a half, was subsequently caught, but I was 
not present. Lat. at noon was 65° 59', long. 155° 44', 
thermometer 28°, wind E.S.E. 

Friday^ 2^th. — Employed all day in superintending 
the preservation of the skeleton of the silver-grey seal, 
weighing 414 pounds, exclusive of the blood lost. The 
stomach was empty. Our decks full of ice caused a 
feeling of chilliness. At one p.m. 1 went in the cutter, 
with the gunner and mate, in pursuit of another large 
penguin, which weighed seventy pounds and a half. In 
the afternoon we were tacking about in an open pool of 
water, off a large berg, which I took a sketch of. We 
passed our Christmas Eve in lat. 65° 58', long. 155° 54', 
with the thermometer 31°, in the midshipmen's berth, where 
Captain Ross and all the gun room officers assembled, 
and were regaled with punch, cake, and snap-dragons. 

Saturday, 2$th, Christmas Day. — We had divine 
service, but no sermon ; and at 3.30 p.m. Captain Ross 



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Voy(Tj£;^cs of Discovery. 

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and the gentlemen from the midshipmen's berth dined in 
the gun-room, and, although surrounded by ice, and 
having been some time at sea, we managed to provide a 
very fair dinner on the occasion, roast goose and plenty 
of fresh meat. The weather in the earlier part of the day 
was overcast and gloomy, and our decks, unusually cold 
and chilly, from the quantity of ice piled abaft, and from 
which we derive our supply of fresh water. The weather, 
however, in the afcornoon cleared up fine, the ship tacking 
about in an open pool of water. The Terror appeared 
beset behind a most icmarkable berg, having two cupola- 
shaped hummocks on its summit, which we christened 
the " Christmas berg." I took two sketches of it, giving 
one to Captain Ross. There were several white petrel 
about. In the evening I went up to the crow's-nest, 
and found the ice more open. So ended our Christ- 
mas Day within the pack; the thermometer at 27°, 
wind N.E. 

Monday^ 27///. — Snow fell last night ; day gloomy ; 
beating about in an open pool of water. It took me four 
hours in skinning and preserving the large penguin I shot 
the other day. At six p.m. three more were caught, one 
weighing sixty-four pounds, which Captain Ross himself 
skinned ; and another of fifty-three pounds he put in 
pickle ; and the third one, weighing fifty-seven pounds, 
I preserved in a cask of pickle, to present to my own 
college, for a skeleton for the Hunterian Museum. 

Tuesday, 28///. — Still beating about in the pool of water, 
with foggy weather. Skinned the second penguin, which 
also occupied me for four hours, from the benumbed 
condition of the fingers in this cold climate. At 
three p.m. another was caught. At six o'clock still 
another, and I noticed a small flock of tern on a piece of 
ice ahead. 

Wednesday, 29///. — Foggy weather. I skinned the 
penguin caught yesterday at three p.m. by Abernethy in 


Our Antantic llottl constructed of Ice. 253 

four hours. Pebbles and half-digested fish were found in 
the stomachs of all. 

Thursday, ^ot/i. — Hot-air stove lighted to-day, which 
filled my cabin with smoke. Six p.m. made fast to the 

Friday, 31s/. — This being the last day of the old year, 
great preparations have been in progress all day upon 
the piece of ice forming a fender between the two ships, 
one being made fast on either side, admitting a free 
communication between them, for welcoming in the new 
year and seeing the old one out. For this purpose a quad- 
rangular space has been excavated in the ice for a dance, 
albeit a somewhat novel kind of ball-room. On this an 
elevated chair of the same material has been constructed 
for the accommodation of both captains ; adjacent to this 
crystal ball-room a refreshment-room has also been cut 
out, with a table carved in the centre for the bottles of 
wine and grog-glasses for the use of the dancers. The 
whole of this sculptured ice almost rivals in hardness 
and whiteness the finest Carrara marble. 

Our worthy boatswain undertook to act the part of 
Boniface on the occasion, and went through the character 
in a most admirable manner ; but not rejoicing, as he 
thought, in a sufficiently portly person himself for duly 
supporting the new character he had assumed, he made 
up the deficiency by stuffing a pillow beneath his waist- 
coat, and in this guise, very much like a cropper pigeon, 
strutted about with his hands in his shooting-jacket 
pockets, an apron round his waist, a bunch of keys dang- 
ling in front, inexpressibles buckled at the knees, which, 
with a round cap jauntily tipped on the crown of his 
head, completed his rig. Two of the younger seamen, 
acting as his waiters, handed genuine ices on a tray all 

In front of this Antarctic hotel a sign-board was fixed 
to a pole, having " Pilgrims of the Rhine" chalked on 


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one side, and " Pioneers of Science " on the other. 
These devices were of the landh>rd's own suggestion. 
A flag was unfolded to the breeze, guarded by a cannon 
with a pile of shot alongside of it, all shaped out of the 
frozen snow, with steps cut through the ice duwn to the 

Near the Terror's gangway a female figure in a sitting 
posture was formed out of the snow, her head orna- 
mented with a profusion of ringlets, and surmounted by 
a card, on which was the word " Haide," though possibly 
bearing small resemblance to the beautiful Greek girl, 
the creation of Byron's imagination. In front of the 
Ercbits's gangway was the bust of a male figure in a 
foraging cap. 

As the ships' bells stiuck the nautical number eight, 
announcing the midnight hour, the frolic began ; the 
new year being ushered in by three hearty cheers from 
stentorian vocal organs, which stran;^ely broke in upon 
the deathlike silence of the solitude reigning around. At 
this very moment an ill-fated white petrel {Procellaria 
nivc(i), like a phantom, white as the surrounding snow 
itself in its purity, appeared as a herald borne on the 
waves of ether, to announce the first hour of the morn in 
the birthday of a new year. Poor little, confiding crea- 
ture, it was destined to pay with its life for the curiosity 
that fated it to become another victim to the claims of 
science, for I happened to have my gun at hand, whilst 
reclining on a solitary hummock of ice, not far from the 
scene, and meditating on all that was enacting around 
me, when the temptation proved too great for me to 
resist the impulse to fire at it, and as it whirled round 
and round, fell upon the ice in its descent, just as Captain 
Ross himself appeared on the scene. I presented it to 
him as the first victim to science in the new-born year ; 
and, as such, he skinned and preserved it himself. Just 
as I was about leaving the ice to turn in at three a.m., a 

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iWa' }'icir's Dinner in Captnin Rosss Cahin. 255 

second bird, whether its mate or not I cannot tell, hovered 
over, as its predecessor had done, and shared the same 
fate, falling to my gun, as a nicincnto for myself of so 
novel an advent of a new year on th(; confmes of the 
Antarctic circle. Dancing and singing wound up the 
whole, in which both captains joined. The day had been 
overcast and gloorny, but unusually calm and mild, some 
line snow even thawed as it fell. The ice close all around. 
A barrier berg and another were seen In the north-east. 
The other birds seen were two or three gigantic petrel, a 
penguin or two, and one solitary stormy petrel. 

Saturday, January \st, 18^2 — New Year's Day has 
been ushered in by fine weather. The state of the ice the 
same as yesterday, with several bergs in sight. This 
forenoon a supply of Government clothing was issued to 
the officers and ship's company gratis, consisting of a 
box-cloth jacket and trousers, red guernsey frock, two 
comforters, Welsh wig, pair of boat hose, five skeins of 
thread of different colours, ten needles, and a sailor's 

At four p.m. all the officers from both gun-room and 
berth dined in the cabin with Captain Ross. The table 
displayed such a bill of fare as was scarcely to have been 
anticipated within the Antarctic circle, which, not a little 
singular, we have crossed to-day, on the same day as last 
year, in longitude 156° 28' W., therefore some 1400 miles 
to the eastward of last year. We were regaled with roast 
beef and mutton, roast goose, and mince-pies, delicious 
preserves, gooseberry and cherry tarts, &c., were amongst 
the dainties. Lieutenant Phillips and myself this evening 
went up to the Ercbus's crow's-nest, or rather the main- 
topm.ast cross-trees, to have a better view of the scene on 
the deck beneath us. A fine lestris was hovering over 
the Terror^s mast-heads at the time. I turned in at 
three a.m. 


2 56 

Voyages 0/ Discovery. 



Closely beset in the pack — Episode of tlie dying petrel — Animal 
instinct— Twelfth-night — The Christmas Berg. 

Monday, ^rd. — A fine day. The ice so closely packed 
around us that it enabled me to walk in various directions 
from the ship for at the least half a mile. My first shot 
wa-^ at a gigantic petrel, breaking his wing, yet he gave 
me such a chase over the ice before I could capture him, 
that I had to stop his further progress with the contents 
of my second barrel, and even then had some difficulty 
in securing my prize, having to reach him with the aid of 
a boat-hook from a sludgy piece of ice treacherous to 
trust the feet upon. I am sorry to have to record here, 
as I do reluctantly and with remorse, that I was the 
cause of an instance of devotion and affection in the 
animal creation, which, however interesting to the natu- 
ralist as a study of animal life, was most painful to witness. 
I happened to fire at a white petrel as it flew past me, 
when it fell on a treacherous part of the floe. I lost it, 
but its mate, flying in company with it at the time, 
instantly alighted near the wounded bird, and placing its 
own beak in juxtaposition with the dying creature's, 
began a painful lamentation over its dying companion, 
curving its own neck over the prostrate form, and giving 
expression to a plaintive, murmuring, cackling note, 
which it continued for some minutes, apparently evincing 
the greatest amazement at the sudden change which had 

Rejlcciions on the dyincr PctrcL 


come over its dying mate ; but finding that all its atten- 
tions were unheeded, then, as if acted upon by some 
impulse or instinctive feeling impressing on its percep- 
tion that this was death, and it could be of no further use, 
it took wing and flew straight away. Whilst I was 
endeavouring to get round the sludge-ice to pick the other 
up, though ineffectually (for, as may be imagined, after this 
little episode the bird would have had a double value for 
my collection), the poor thing feebly raised its head, 
after slowly staggering along the ice for a few paces, 
apparently its last effort. 

How ITttle do we know of animal life and mind ! for 
mind they have unquestionably, call it instinct or what 
you will. They are constructed on a very similar type to 
their lordly master, man, consequently must necessarily 
be endowed to a certain extent with his faculties. The 
same brain and nerves, which in common with him render 
them sentient beings, must also endow them with the 
power of thought ; the main difference between them 
arises from the want of language which he possesses as a 
medium of communication. 

What indeed is man, in his savage, untutored state, 
but for the language he inherits, the superior of the lower 
animals ? Many of these much-wronged and under- 
estimated beings should make him blush, exhibiting, as 
they often do, moral attributes of a high order, with 
quite as much intelligence. Those whose opportunities 
have afforded them the means of comparing man in his 
primitive, savage condition with the most sagacious of 
our own domesticated animals, the friends of man, like 
the dog and others, will, I feel sure, bear me out in 
this, although they may not be prepared to go so far with 
me as to claim for these often-persecuted creatures a 
" hereafter," of which, however, we certainly know nothing 
to the contrary. We can all readily enough comprehend 
the perishable nature of all material things, though the 

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Foja^es of Discovery. 



atoms themselves remain ; but cannot so easily reconcile 
to our reason the destructibility of a living principle, 
whose very essence is immaterial, any more than we can 
doubt the wisdom and benevolence of a great Creator of 
all, by supposing that He has had so little of considera- 
tion for creatures as much the work of His own handsas 
man himself, consigned, as many of them are, to unmiti- 
gated sufferings here, without any compensation or 
reparation in the future. We trust that their case is not 
so hopeless. Shrouded in mystery as this wonderful 
principle of life may be, it is at least as inseparable 
from space, time and eternity, as imperishable and ever- 
lasting, as all matter and material tilings are evanescent 
and transitory. 

Wediicsdny, ^th. — A very fine day ; bright sun in a 
clear blue sky. Abernethy caught at one p.m. to-day 
a very fine large penguin, weighing seventy-five pounds. 

Thursday, 6th. — We are drifting seven or eight miles a 
day to the northward. We cast off from the ice, leaving 
a cask on it containing a paper with all our signatures 
and the latitude and longitude. A very pretty, darkly- 
mottled young seal was caught this afternoon, having 
a deep, old wound on its side, which had burst open 
afresh ; the pain arising from this must have been 
excruciating, for the poor creature was rendered so 
irritable and fierce, that on reaching the deck it bit at 
everything that came in its way, deck and ropes, so I 
put an end to its sufferings by a thrust of the sword. A 
thermometer placed in the wound gave a temperature of 
1 00° Fahr. 

This being " Twelfth Night," all the officers partook of 
" Twelfth Cake," with cherry brandy, in Captain Ross's 
cabin. On a signal being made to the Terror, Captain 
Crozier came on board and joined us. It fell to my lot to 
cut up the huge cake, and the junior mate, who sat next to 
me, distributed the enclosed painted figures and enigmas 

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The Christmas Berg. 


all round, creating considerable amusement in our novel 
situation. At eleven p.m. we passed our old acquaintance 
the " Christmas Berg " on the port side ; and a very large 
finner whale, seventy or eighty feet in length, passed very 
near the ship ; the weather becoming thick with snow. 
Wind E.S.E. ; thermometer 32°. 

Friday^ "jth. — The large penguin of seventy-five 
pounds took me five hours to skin to-day ; it was a 
female, and had no less than three pounds of fish in 
its stomach. 

Monday, iph. — For the last ten days we have con- 
tinued beset in the pack, sometimes boring through, and 
at others beating about in pools of water, with inter- 
changes of visits between the two ships. Our Christmas 
Berg frequently in sight. Flocks of tern and white 
petrel, with now and then a gigantic one, were seen, and 
scarcely a day passed without a seal being caught, mostly 
from nine to eleven feet in length — one was harpooned, 
it weighed 644 pounds, and was nine feet in length. 
On the 8th a penguin was caught, w'eighing sixty-four 
pounds. But the Terror carries off the palm for having 
caught the largest of all, weighing seventy-eight pounds. 
Two finner whales, seventy to eighty feet in length, 
passed close to the ship, having a large fin above the 
water abaft, and humps forward. Both ships are now 
made fast with hawsers to one of those heavy, table- 
topped pieces of ice, rising from ten to twelve feet 
above the sea, with perpendicular side'- -which, indeed, 
have become a new feature in our Antarctic landscape — 
the ships having a low piece of ice, forming a fender, 
between their sides. To-day I took a sketch of the 
Terror., from the stern boat. Between two and three 
p.m., having shot half a dozen of the brown and white 
petrel, on the port quarter-boat being lowered for me 
to pick them up, to leeward, I had scarcely got into the 
boat, when a silver-grey seal was seen on the ice, which 

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yoya^es of Discovery. 

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the junior mate and myself immediately went in pursuit 
of ; and we secured our prize, by each of us planting a 
harpoon in him, and then we towed him alongside of the 
ship, but, unfortunately, during the interim, most of my 
birds had drift'^c^ away amongst the ice and were lost, 
having on) • bag^ ;d two of them ; but the seal was the 
most valued desideratum. The pieces of ice to which we 
were made fast ahead, rising and surging in the long 
and heavy swell, occasioned by a strong breeze blowing, 
imperilled our stern, which had a narrow escape from 
coming in cuiUoion ulia the large, hard, table-topped 
pieces this forenorn 

Tuesday, i8i/i. — 
with a gloomy atw.o?.phere, 
from the W.S.W., wit'* yrnc 
Towards night it blew ver 


rain fell during the day, 
■'t'-* in a heavy, long swell 
J^owers and a thick fog. 
bai.", throughout the 

night the ship thumped and surged so heavily, occa- 
sioning such a strain on the bow hawsers, that both 
were carried away, and we consequently parted company 
with the table-topped piece, leaving our ice-anchor on it, 
both still holding on to the fender of ice between them. 
This took place at four a.m. I found, upon going on 
deck, that we were fast drifting down upon a large berg 
on our port quarter, the white summit of which was barely 
visible through the dense fog enveloping it, which seemed 
to add in appearance to the vast magnitude of this 
stupendous mass of frozen water, as it rose and fell in the 
long, heavy swell, presenting the wildest and most threaten- 
ing aspect that the most fertile imagination could con- 
jure up. We only just escaped a fearful collision with it, 
by making a press of all possible sail on both ships, so as 
to increase their rate of drift, passing not more than 
fifty or sixty yards to leeward of its steep, hard, washed, 
blue-looking and perpendicular sides, which in places 
were festooned with enormous icicles. It towered to the 
height of not less than 200 feet above the sea. I took 

Narroiv Escape from Collision ivith a large Berg, 261 

a hasty sketch of it as we passed. A pair of brown and 
white petrel, nestled close together, were apparently 
slumbering on its summit, quite undisturbed and undis- 
mayed by the elemental war raging around them. Cap- 
tain Ross was on board of the Terror at the time. This 
immense berg left an open pool in its wake, and not far 
distant from us were two smaller bergs. The ice opened 
more during the first watch, and some heavy masses 
passed us, one but just clearing the Terror's bows. 

IVednesujy, \gth. — The ship thumped heavily through- 
out the night against the margin of the piece of ice, 
shaking every timber of her framework, and producing 
such a strain on rhe hawsers, as she surged in the heavy 
swell, that we parted from one, and stranded the other ; 
so that at 2.30 a.m. we were adrift, and had to make 
sail under the top-sails, firing guns and muskets all the 
morning, as fog-signals to our consort, to enable her to 
keep company with us in the dense fog concealing 
everything around. About nine a.m. passed within a 
quarter of a mile of a large berg. Observed a strange, 
blackish-looking petrel, and at seven p.m. we passed 
close to the piece of ice with the two carcasses of seals 
we left upon it, when we cast off from it this morning, 
Rain in the first watch ; lat. 66° 18', long. 158° 38' ; ther- 
mometer 38°, and wind N.W. 





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A heavy gale — Waves of solid ice — Seals, whales, and penguins — Eight 
hundred miles of the pack passed through— In the open again — 
Shot a Icstris — A beautiful view of the great ice barrier — Highest 
latitude reached. 

Thursday, January 20th, was a day not soon to be 
forgotten, while memory has the power of recalling 
vivid impressions of the past. We were destined to wit- 
ness one of the most extraordinary scenes perhaps that 
ever occurred in the annals of navigation. We en- 
countered a heavy gale of wind, little short of a West 
India hurricane in its force, whilst beset in this vast and 
close pack of ice. It was a heaving sea, with a long 
swell, unprecedented in the Arctic seas. Each moun- 
tain-wave was crested, not by spray and foam, but bore 
on its summit huge masses of solid ice, hard as adamant, 
intermingled with brash and debris, resulting from the 
tremendous collision of ice with ice, in the combined 
tumult of waters, both fluid and solid ; and notwith- 
standing the enormous pressure of the ice borne on their 
surface, some of these waves ran so high as frequently to 
render the Terror s main-topsail yard barely visible above 
them, when she fell into the trough between two of them, 
scarcely half a mile ahead of us. Both ships had been 
rolling heavily all through the preceding night, coming 
so violently in collision with the ice, as to shake their 
whole framework in such a way as to render it doubtful 
whether their timbers, strongly put together as they were. 

Gale in the Pack. 


could much longer resist the fearful strain on them. 
The swell appeared to come from the W.N.W., and the 
ships' drift to S. by E. The Terror was under her main- 
topsail on the cap. We were limited to the main-trysail, 
and fore-staysail, backing and filling as requisite, to 
clear the heavier pieces of ice, or by lowering the fore- 
staysail and squaring the main-yard, to drop astern of 
them. Then, again, forging ahead by dropping the fore- 
sail, &c., the main-topsail hanging loose upon the cap. 
Barometer at two p.m. 28° 49'. We passed perilously 
close to some enormous hard masses, having white, table- 
topped summits ten to twelve feet above the surface of 
the sea, having a horizontal hollow line, in their perpen- 
dicular sides, reflecting a beautiful cobalt-blue colour, and 
vertically streaked with an appendage of white pendent 
icicles, apparently resting on older ice as a basis, having 
a pale, yellowish-brown colour at the water's edge, divided 
by short pillars. Beneath the surface of the water, large 
tongues of ice, having a convex upper surface, and 
smooth, blue appearance, hard as the granite rock itself, 
stretched out far beyond, on which the roaring surf broke. 
Were a ship's bottom — her weakest part — to strike on 
this, no human power could possibly preserve her from 
instant destruction in a sea like this, with such a hurri- 
cane raging around. We, indeed, passed in very close 
proximity to one mass, of a rounded, hard, washed, blue 
appearance, pitching, as it were, bows under, like a ship 
going down, in the turmoil of waters raging around. 

Fortunately for us there were none of the large bergs 
in our line of drift, and only two far to leeward. Two 
poor seals were quietly sleeping on a piece of ice ahead, 
apparently, if not unconscious, indifferent to the turbulent 
scene of the elements around them. A solitary black and 
brown, and a white petrel or two, were now and then 
seen hovering overhead in the height of the gale. The 
sky itself presented one uniform, lurid, leaden colour ; the 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

wind was from the N.N.W., and the barometer falling 
all day ; snow in large flakes fell at intervals, and in the 
afternoon the weather became thicker with fog. At 
12.30 we drifted into a lane of open water. During the 
last dog-watch the wind shifted round to the westward, 
and the gale and swell both became much abated. 

We had our rudder injured, and on exchanging signals 
with the Terror^ learnt that hers was in a much worse 
condition than our own ; made the signal to rendezvous 
at the Falkland Islands, in the event of parting company. 
The Terror^ as she rose on a sea, showed her copper 
sheathing, very bright and polished from the scrubbing 
it has sustained in her late collision with the ice. 

At seven p.m. we passed a very beautiful young seal 
of the large dark kind, reposing on a piece of ice not 
ten yards from the port side of the ship. He was four 
or five feet in length, blackish-brown above, hair short 
and thick, crisp-looking underneath, grey, mottled with 
black, both on flanks and flippers. The poor animal 
seemed much astonished at his close proximity to the 
ship, looking round him with a bewildered expression, 
which was soon converted into fear and dread by the 
laughing and noise on deck, and he at once set about 
crawling off the ice, propelling himself along on his 
chest, without making any use of his flippers, progressing 
by curving in of his spine, thus shortening in his body as 
a caterpillar would do, the hinder or tail flipper being 
vertically closed, and passively stretched out on the ice. 
On rolling off the ice into the sludge, he then made use 
of his fore flippers in endeavouring to get upon another 
piece of ice, but being unsuccessful, he rolled over on 
his back and disappeared. 

Thursday^ 27///. — The weather for the last week since 
the gale has been gloomy, overcast, and threatening, 
much heavy ice about, with lanes of open water, and 
snow at intervals. We have had the carpenters of both 


Copper Sheathing torn off the Boios. 


ships at work, in making an entire new rudder for the 
Terror, and repairing our own and other damages from 
the gale in the pack. About nine p.m. to-day, seeing 
two large penguins, apparently new species, on a piece 
of ice ahead, I was very naturally desirous of securing 
them for the government collection, and asked for a 
boat to go and capture them ; but, unluckily for me, 
Captain Ross being on board the Terror at the time, our 
automaton first lieutenant, whose prestige, if he has any 
at all, is more for holy-stoning decks in his morning watch 
than in the paths of science, did not deem them worth 
the trouble of lowering a boat for. Fortunately for the 
Terror's credit, his brother- officer in that ship. Lieutenant 
McMurdo, thought differently, and had a boat manned, 
and a chase on the ice. Both the birds were secured, 
when they turned out to be the young of the great pen- 
guin, still in their grey, immature plumage, and as such 
a highly interesting addition to the ornithological collec- 
tion. One weighed thirty-seven and the other thirty-five 
pounds. Just before we cast off from the piece of ice 
to which both ships had been made fast, a large sheet of 
copper sheathing was removed from our bows, torn off 
in her recent struggle with the ice in the late gale, and 
I had a piece of it cut out to preserve as r memento. 
Lat. 67° 39', long. 1 55° 59', thermometer 34°, wind W.S.W. 
A finner whale crossed our bowo the following morning. 

Tuesday, February ist. — The weather cleared up, with 
the first sight of the blue sky for some time past. Sailing 
in open water, but ice closely packed around, with the 
exception of to the southward and eastward ; wind light. 
Saw three gigantic petrel nestled together on a piece of 
ice, asleep. The latitude at noon was 67" 18', long. 
158° 12', thermometer 30°. 

During the first watch we were sailing through very 
loose, small ice, with a very dark water-sky to windward, 
indicating open water in that direction ; indeed, a faint 


t/ I I '!i 



/ 'oj'(r^(;c's of Discovery. 

■■ \ 


\ . I 

streak in the horizon perceptibly mari<ed out the line of 
water, which, taken with the free, quick, and undulating 
movement of the swell in short rolling waves, following 
each other in rapid succession, so unlike the long, broad, 
heavy-moving swell in the pack, produced there by the 
weight of the superincumbent mass of ice, left no doubt 
that we were now on the confines or margin of the pack. 
To leeward there appeared over the pack and a chain 
of large bergs a very bright ice-blink, so that before 
dawn we shall be in all probability clear of the pack. 

Wednesday, 2;"/. — We found ourselves at 2.30 a.m. 
fairly out of this normous pack, in which we had been 
beset since the i8th of last December, no less a period 
than forty-six days. The breadth of the belt of ice we 
have passed through may be fairly estimated at 800 
miles. We entered it in the latitude of 62° 50', and in 
the longitude of 147° 25'; and our observations at noon 
to-day gave 67° 57' lat., and 160° 3' long. We are now 
about 450 miles from the place where we entered the 
pack. The average drift to the southward was some 
ten miles a day. 

Upon going on deck this morning I saw only one 
solitary fragment of ice in the horizon, on the starboard 
bow, bearing S.W. by W\ Being once more in such a vast 
expanse of open water seemed quite a novel spectacle 
to us, and through which we are going at the rate of 
four knots , making a S. by W. course, with a fine fresh 
westerly breeze and a swell from W.S.W. ; weather very 
fine, with a few light fleecy clouds, floating along a clear 
blue sky. Towards the close of the day the pack was 
again seen, and at 6.30 p.m. we tacked off its edge, 
which extended from the north in an easterly direction 
to S.S.E., flanked by two long flat bergs; the ships sailing 
amongst straggling bits of ice, one stormy petrel in sight. 
At 1 1.30 p.m. I saw the first star, for some time past, 
bearing W. half S. twenty degrees above the horizon, on 

».' i 


n, on 

Pass the Jiighcst Latitude of Cook and H 'cddcll. 267 

the \vcallKT-b()\v. I shot two brown and white petrel, 
securing both by their falling on board. We carried 
Mway our chain-bobstays against a piece of ice. Ther- 
ometer 30°, wind W.S.W. 

Thursday, 3/7/. — In a fine open sea till 4.15 p.m., when 
we tacked within a mile of the pack-edge, which was here 
flanked by seven large, table-topped bergs. It appeared 
very close and heavy, extending from N.N.E. to S.E. 
Saw a blue petrel in the first watch. The Terror had a 
fire break out in her main-hatchway on Sunday last, but it 
was speedily got under without any serious consequences. 

Thursday, \oth. — The finest day we have had for some 
time past ; for during the last week we had the thickest 
fog, and heavy falls of snow, with frequent squalls, during 
the voyage. Whilst sailing along the pack-edge, off 
vhich we tacked at three p.m., at 10.30 p.m. I shot 
lother brown and white petrel, which fell on the deck, 
x'he sun set at 9.30 last night. 

Saturday, 12th. — Early part of the day very fine, going 
south. In the afternoon it came on thick and foggy, 
with a considerable fall of snow. We passed the highest 
latitude of Cook to-day, in the longitude of 179° 13' E. ; 
many birds about us — the sooty and the black-backed 
albatrosses, blue petrel, the brown and white, a Cape 
pigeon, a gigantic petrel, a stormy petrel, and one solitary 
white petrel, and a light-coloured one, having a black 
patch on its head, I have not before seen ; most probably 
an immature bird in change of plumage. 

Tuesday, i^th. — Blowing a gale of wind all day, with 
misty, thick weather : ship rolling heavily with her rigging 
thickly coated with ice. This day we passed Weddell's 
farthest south, and have consequently now only ourselves 
to beat in our first voyage. Our latitude at noon to-day 
was 74° 26', long. 182°. 

Friday, iSth. — Whilst sitting at breakfast this morning, 
the quarter-master of the watch came down to the gun- 

■I . 

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Jsi H 

I ^oyages of Discovery. 

r i 

!-a J 

I ;t 

I -1 

room to tell me that a lestris was hovering over the 
mast-head, and I lost not a moment in reaching the deck, 
gun in hand, and shot it, when luckily it fell into the boat 
astern — a splendid specimen and a new species or variety, 
like the one I shot on Possession Island last year ; and 
the only pair I have been able to obtain, so scarce is it ; 
yet a bold, piratical bird, quite capable of defending 
itself against any feathered foe ; hence I christened it 
the " Rover of the South Pole." I shot four white petrel, 
three of which fell on board, and were added to the 
collection, but the fourth and last fell overboard, and 
consequently was lost. A great number of the brown 
and white petrel were about the ship to-day, also three 
or four Diomedia fuliginosa, a Proccllaria gtgantea, a 
tern, and a pair of stormy petrel ; the latter, so unusual 
with them, flying higher than the mast-head in their 
evolutions to leeward, as they are usually seen skimming 
in the wake of the ship, occasionally sweeping round the 
sides. The blue petrel have now left us. We sounded 
to-day in 300 fathoms, green mud, a bright ice-blink in 
the horizon extending from E. by N to W. Chiefly 
making eastern, to-day cleared up fine, with a fresh 
breeze. Lat. 76° 52', long. 178°, thermometer 25°. 

Saturday y igth. — Sounded in 240 fathoms ; white 
petrel very numerous this evening, and I shot three, two 
falling on board and one overboard. On skinning the 
lestris I found a ball of penguin feathers in its stomach, 
a convincing proof, were any needed, of its predatory 
habits, and also its power to destroy such stron'g, mus- 
cular, vigorous, and horny-feathered birds as the pen- 
guins. Lat. 76" 41', long. 173° 48', thermometer 33''. 

Monday y 21st. — It blew a very heavy gale of wind last 
night, the ship rolling heavily. At four p.m. we tacked 
ship off the pack-edge, and at five p.m. wore ship, crossing 
the Terror's bows rather close in doing so. Her sides 
were completely encased in ice, and our own bows and 


^ TV 

Sight the Great Barrier again. 


bowsprit presented a dense mass of crystallization. 
The force of the wind in the height of the gale during 
the night was ten ; the barometer falling nearly as low 
as 28°. 

Tuesday, 22nd. — Passed several bergs and heavy 
pieces of ice during the day, and at six p.m. sounded in 
190 fathoms, green mud and small black stones. Avery 
bright ice-blink along the horizon from east to south ; 
and about midnight we again came in sight of our old 
friend the Great Barrier to leeward, extending from south 
to east. It presented a more undulating summit outline 
than last year, having intervals forming bights between. 
One remarkable abutment, or promontory, at the entrance 
to a bay or inlet, bore a striking resemblance to the one 
where we made the nearest approach to it last season. 
Several bergs were lying in front of this huge perpen- 
dicular wall of ice, one certainly not less than three miles 
in length. We passed through a number of streams of 
young ice of a yellowish-brown colour, but of the pancake 
form, very thick, from a foot to three or four in diameter. 
The night, though cloudy, was fine and free from mist. 
On the weather-bow a group of clouds might easily have 
been mistaken for distant high land. The ship was 
going at five knots before the wind under studding-sails, 
with a fresh breeze. Thermometer 27°, lat. 76° 42', 
long. 165° 50'. 

Wednesday , I'^rd. — At one a.m. passed a large piece 
of ice, having two black points of rock projecting from its 
side. At '^.30 a.m. I shot a wnite petrel, which fell on 
deck. The birds are now unusually scarce and shy — a 
penguin or two, sooty albatross, gigantic petrel, white 
petrel, and brown and white. Turned in at five a.m. 
within four or five leagues of the barrier, having remained 
on deck all through the first and middle watches to see 
all I could of the barrier. Upon going on deck again at 
nine a.m. the barrier was astern, the ship having been put 







Li t 1 

\\ \ 


h ' ■■ 


1 < 


■ 1 - 


Ti I'' ' 

,1 >■ 








Voyages of Discovery. 

about at 6.30 a.m. The morning was fine, with a bright 
sun and fresh breeze. Saw a whale blowing. At 
1.40 p.m. we tacked, and stood towards the barrier on an 
E.N.E. course, passing through a great deal of young 
ice, and close to a large berg. At seven p.m. we hove- to 
off the face of the barrier, with the ship's head to the 
north-west, about two miles from a promontory in it, 
bearing east, and got soundings in 290 fathoms, fine 
green mud and stones. 

Whilst the line was running out I seated myself in- the 
stern-sheets of the boat, on the port-side of the quarter- 
deck, to take a sketch of one of the most novel and extra- 
ordinary scene^^ I, or any one else, ever witnessed. The 
day was cloudless, a bright sun in a clear blue sky, the 
rays of which, falling on the barrier, gave a beautiful effect 
to its steep, indented sides, the various angles and abut- 
ments of which stood boldly out in relief, alternately in 
light and shade, forming a long, zigzag, perpendicular 
wall of ice, upwards of 100 feet in height, extending from 
S. 40 W. to N. 21 W. Along its base numerous frag- 
ments of ice, of every form and size, were scattered or 
piled together in the wildest confusion, in many places 
appearing as if quarried out, leaving recesses in these 
stupendous cliffs, hollowed out by the terrific power of 
those heavy seas which gales of wind have set in motion 
when sweeping over the vast and mighty surface of the 
scuthern ocean, the sea in front of the barrier being covered 
with young ice of the pancake pattern, and amongst which 
the ship was hove-to. The extreme of the barrier to 
the right had the horizon studded with bergs, both large 
and small, resembling, as the sun's light fell upon them, 
so many white marble buildings in the distance. To 
the left a huge berg had posted itself in solitary grandeur 
in front of the barrier, inside of which we passed at 
7.15 p.m., in again making sail, and ran along the latter 
at about a league distant, forcing our way through vast 

.vitb t! 

*%s^^P^ C- 

en above the lower end of it, on the first voyage south. 

Vincent Brooks, Day ft Son, Uth. 
PAne j70"VnL. I. 

^ ^ 


K. McCormick. R.N.. del 


R. McCormick. R.N.. d*!. 

The Barrier in 78® 10' S., 7 miles distant, the highest latitude 








S ««^ t <Y«rS»Ri{iO 



The Great Barrier ^ritb the pack resting on its eastern extremity and two bergs lying off it, as seen in the first voyage south, i 

■^ Cliff of the Barrid 


M ' ^' 

••'■•■' '< /"•/:' ■^■■''Jf ' 

^, .wfv^^'^q 






^ ^jj|p.,„,*^- 

-•« ifffff.'' 




X. - 

- ■ir^t'^jH<i*ia^.s?i- 

' M:.^^^?^^^^^^ 

.- '■Vm»M«WlfVr 

'•-s* -^i--^^,' 


ant, the highest latitude attained in the second Voyage, February, 1842. 



-•- •, 

I > 




[, as seen in the first voyage, south. 

■^ Cliff of the Barrier Bifiht. 

Wn" '1 

K. McCormick, R.N., del. 

The Christmas Berg with the " Terror's " mastheads s« 


,'^;,^-''-**»^**' ■' 

••''"■• ■x-'^- 

"'■"•'^^SiS^IRW ! 

•• Terror's " mastheads seen above the lower end of it, on the first voyage south. 

Vincent Brooks, Day & Soi^ Litk. 

PAGB 870— VOL. I. 

Highest Latitude attained and Barrier Jiig/it. 2 y i 

quantities of thick, pancake ice, which became thinner and 
thinner as we increased our distance. Saw two or three 
small penguins on it, rising and falling with its waving 

Just as we had made sail our consort, the Terror, which 
we had run nearly hull down, came up with us, and went 
about close under our stern. Our latitude here was 
78" 7', the Terror making it 78° 9', so that taking the 
mean of the two observations, would place the face of the 
barrierin 78^ 8', long. 161° 27', and that we have attained 
about some half a dozen miles higher latitude than last 
season, our farther progress towards the Pole being 
checked by the barrier. About 1 30 miles further to the 
eastward the summit of the barrier could be seen from 
the mast-head, looking like a vast plain of ice in one direc- 
tion, having much the appearance of land in the distance. 
During the first watch the white and brown and white 
petrel were very numerous, flying about the ship. I shot 
three from this most interesting locality, all of which I 
was so fortunate as to have fall on board, the last one, and 
the best specimen, at 11.30 p.m. I had also a shot at 
one of the largest kind of stormy petrel as it was fly- 
ing over the mast-head, but missed it. Saw a Proccllaria 
gigantea, a Diomedia fiiliginosa, a small penguin, and a 
seal or two on the ice. 

At 10.30 p.m. the sun set in a beautiful red and purple 
horizon astern of us. The sky altogether presented an 
extraordinarily beautiful, yet wild aspect, the lovely blue 
being mottled in many places with fine red clouds. This 
has been fortunately the finest day of the season. Lat. 
at noon 77° 49', long. 162° 35', thermometer 29", wind 
W. to N. by E., dip and var. = ^. I turned in a little 
after midnight. Hove-to eastward of the Barrier Bight. 

Thursday, 2\th. — This morning, on my going upon 
deck, I found that we were standing to the northward 
under a press of canvas, studding-sails low and aloft, 




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H li 

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1 ■ 

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Voya/^es of Discovery. 



I I 

and royals. About 10.30 a.m. the weather suddenly 
changed, becoming overcast, with heavy squalls, which 
soon reduced us to our top-sails, and a reef in them, 
running along the edge of the stream ice. I saw a 
lestris in full chase of a brown and white petrel. Last 
evening a cask containing a paper with the latitude and 
longitude and signatures of all the officers was thrown 

Saturday, 26///. — An " ice-blink " all along the horizon 
to leeward, indicating the situation of the pack. We 
have been passing through large streams of ochreous- 
brown-coloured ice, covering the water with a film, thickly 
studded with small fragments, having the under-surface 
of an iron-rust colour, the undulations of the water giving 
it the appearance of oil in motion. To-day I saw an ash- 
backed petrel for the first time within the Antarctic Circle, 
and a second one in the evening, with a solitary Cape pigeon. 

Monday, 28///. — Fine day. Bergs numerous ; we must 
have passed at the least a hundred large and small, some 
of them very large ones. A whole cluster of them passed 
us in the evening, sailing through thick streams of 
young pancake ice. At six p.m. running along the 
pack-edge, about a league distant, with many bergs 
posted along its margin, with others all round the horizon. 
During the latter part of the first watch and the com- 
mencement of the middle one the night was very dark, 
although but three or four days ago it was broad day- 
light throughout the twenty-four hours. When off the 
barrier, lat. 70° 54'. long. 175° 36'. 

Tuesday, March \st. — Passed several large bergs; 
sketched one, with numerous caverns in it. Snow in the 
evening. Running along pack-edge. 

Friday, \th. — It blew a fresh gale last night, ship 
rolling heavily. The blue petrel have made their appear- 
ance again in considerable numbers, with a few Cape 
pigeon. Sea clear of ice. 


Ruuniiii^ doion Longitude to ''Line of Intensity.^' 273 

Monday, 1th. — Crow's-nest got down yesterday, as we 
have recrossed the Antarctic Circle, and no bergs or 
ice in sight, so that the white petrel, a true ice-bird, 
have all left us. 

Thursday, \oth. — Last night was beautifully clear and 
starlight. The Southern Cross appeared high in the 
zenith, having a very bright appearance. I dined in the 
cabin with Captain Ross to-day, and we had a fine roast 
goose for dinner, notwithstanding we have been upwards 
of 100 days at sea. About midnight, on quitting the 
cabin and going on deck, I saw a fine, large, perfectly 
flat-topped barrier berg, upwards of a mile in length. 
Lat. 68' 18', long. 156° 7'. We have ceased now to alter 
our latitude materially, our object being to run down our 
longitude to the " line of intensity," in about 125°, and in 
the latitude of 60°. 

Saturday, 12///. — Weather gloomy, with drizzle during 
the day ; night squally and thick ; thermometer 36°, wind 
northerly, lat. 60° 12', long, 147" 25'. 

i '-^ 



VOL. I. 

2 74 

/ '())uij[;cs of Discovery. 

■ , i 


:i 1 


Collision with llic Terror off the icebergs— Our perilous situation — 
Our shi[) all but cripijled — Claptain Ross's self-possession — 
Doubling Cape Horn — Loss of a sailor — Land in sight — Hog 

A Fl';\V minutes after I had turned in, and not long after 
the first watch had been relieved by the middle one, 
about one o'clock in the morning, I heard an unusual stir 
on deck over my head. The hurried tread of the watch 
at once suggested to my mind that something was going 
wrong ; and, whilst listening in doubt as to the cause, the 
voice of the officer of the watch calling down the main- 
hatchway to "Turn all hands up," became very audible. 
It now at once occurred to me that we were about run- 
ning into an iceberg, as they had been far too numerous 
of late in our course to render such a catastrophe at all 
unlikely. After hurrying jH only a portion of my clothes, 
I had but just reached tl e top of the companion-ladder 
to the quarter-deck, when I was all but hurled to the 
bottom of it by a shock we received, not from an ice- 
berg, indeed, but from our consort the Terror falling 
across our bows. 

On my gaining the deck what a scene met the eye ! 
First, the massive hull of the Terror surging heavily in 
the swell on our starboard-bow, carrying away our bow- 
sprit, and with it our fore-topmast; whilst, above all, 
towered through the mist of a dark, gloomy night, the 
stupendous form of an enormous iceberg, whose perpen- 


C(>//ision with llic " Terror" 

= 75 

cliculiir adamantine* sides loomed in terrilic ^Mandi-ur hi^h 
ab()V(! our mast-heads, and threatened both ships with 
instant destruction, our own more especially, from the 
tangled wreck of spars, sails, and ri^'j^nntj hamperinj^ us 
forward, which for the moment rendered our position a 
most lu'lpless oiu.' ; a moment of one's life, indeed, never 
to he for<;otten, as the two ships' sides were furiously 
•grinding against each other in the heavy sea was 
running, blowing as it did, at the time, a hard gale 
of wind. 

Our consort, as she rose above the surging swell, 
showed her bright copper sheathing, and the greater 
portion of her keel, above our gunwale ; at one n'.oment 
appearing as if her massive hull itself would come on 
board of us, and the next moment, in her descent, as we 
surged upwards, both hulls met together in fearful col- 
lision, but most fortunately in the encounter the yards 
of the ships escaped entanglement. The Terror, having 
recc-ived no injury to her spars and rigging, when her 
sails fdled shot ahead, and, by way of a parting farewell, 
bounced her heavy stern into our starboard quarter- 
boat, crushing it like a nutshell, as she disappeared in 
the surrounding darkness and gloom, like a phantom 
of ill. 

No sooner had we got clear of one danger than we 

were approaching another, of a far more threatening 

character. With all our head-sails a cumbrous wreck, 

ere fast closing in with the berg, its lofty, over- 

ijjing crest, frowning destruction, as it loomed over the 

trucks of our mast-head, and the ship drifting within 

I..- surf so angrily, surging around its hard-washed base. 

Reduced to such a helpless login close proximity to such 

an enemy as we were, our narrow escape seemed indeed 

truly miraci ns. The rebound of the waves, or in 

nautical lai ige the under-tow, from the granite-like 

wall of ic \e saved us, humanly speaking, from being 

T 2 





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Voyages of Discovery, 

dashed to fragments against the smooth, hard, polished 
blue sides of the berg. 

]5y a perilous stern-board, through foam and surf dashing, 
Our yard-arms with the berg's frowning sides all but clashing, 
With the under-tow receding alone we are saved, 
To be on memory's tablet for ever engraved. 

At such a perilous crisis a captain's position is assuredly 
not one to be envied, the responsibility is an awful one. 
We had no room to wear ship, the only alternative was 
making a stern-board, a hazardous one, in the sea that was 
running, and justifiable only by the circumstances of our 
position. However, Captain Ross was quite equal to the 
emergency, and, folding his arms across his breast, as he 
stood like a statue on the afterpart of the quarter-deck, 
calmly gave the order to loose the main-sail. His whole 
bearing, v.'liilst lacking nothing in firmness, yet betrayed 
both in the expression of his countenance and attitude, 
the ail-but despair with which he anxiously watched the 
result of this last and only expedient left to us in the 
awful position we were placed in. This feeling, I believe, 
pervaded all ; as but for the howling of the winds, and 
the turmoil of the roaring waters, the falling of a pin 
might have been heard on the Erebus' s deck, so silent 
and awestruck stood our fine crew in groups around, await- 
ing the result. So sudden was the collision that there 
was scant time for dressing, and an officer might have 
been seen cli'iging to the capstan in his nightshirt onl)-. 

1 had myself seen much service in our old class of 
corvettes, very deep-waisted ships, frequently over- 
masted, with a great spread of canvas, rendering them 
very ticklish craft to wear in a heavy sea, from their decks 
holding so much water between their high bulwarks, 
should they get too much sternway on them. I fully 
realized all the perils of the mancjeuvre of a stern-board 
in such a sea as this, with tht; addition of another element 
of danger, icebergs, in our drift ; so that when the order 



Rtmnivg tlic ganutlct bc/zuccn iioo Bergs, 277 

was given to loose the main-sail, instinctively alive to our 
dangerous position, I flew to the main-tack, being the 
first to lay hold of it, followed by a lot of our fine fellows, 
by whom it was hauled sharp a-hack with a will. The 
good old ship soon gathered sternway, and, as Fenimore 
Cooper humorously has It in the " Red Rover," began 
" ploughing the waves with her taffrail," meantime 
brushing the huge sides of the berg with our lower yard- 
arms till we reached its western extremity. 

Here we encountered another large berg, lying athwart 
the course of our drift, and on which we were dropping ; 
and we had to get the ship's head round as well as we 
could, by means of the after-sails still available. Our 
situation now became a very critical one, with the loom 
of a third berg on the other side of us. At this moment, 
as I was looking aft, I saw our Ice-master, Abernethy— 
one of the most experienced icemen of our day, who had 
been in the old Hecla with me in Parry's attempt to 
reach the North Pole, ever vigilant and on the watch — 
extended full length on the ice-plank, with his gaze 
Intently fixed on the berg, when suddenly he reported to 
Captain Ross an opening between the two bergs, through 
which we were soon running before the wind, Providence 
thus directing our course through this narrow, surf-beaten 
strait, little wider than our own ship's length, none too 
soon before the meeting of the two bergs, which were 
rapidly approaching each other. As it was we passed so 
close to the vertical sides of the bergs that the foam and 
spray I felt rebound In my face, with such force as nearly 
to arrest the act of breathing when looking over the 

Having run the gauntlet between these two giant bergs 
we emerged in the open sea beyond, and through the 
murky gloom of night, the Terror s light, all at once, 
burst upon us at some distance ahead, hove-to under the 
lee of a berg ; she having very suddenly disappeared 



<<Li: -« 


a;' 1^ 

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Voycxgcs of Discovery. 

after getting clear of us, must have, after her sails filled, 
instantly dashed through the same channel which 
afforded us an exit at least half an hour later, during 
which, our light having been extinguished from her view 
by the group of bergs within the circle of which we had 
been enclosed, they had been under the impression we 
had gone to pieces under the berg, where she parted 
from us. And short indeed would have been the work 
had we been fated to come into collision with its 
adamantine sides. 

At daylight the bergs were just visible, about five in 
number, forming a chain. I turned in again about 
three a.m., and upon going on deck after breakfast on 
the morning of the 1 3th I saw our anchor sticking in the 
ship's side, under the fore-chains, and beneath the surface 
of the sea, where it had doubtless been driven by the 
Terror s hull, sledge-hammer fashion, and now remains, 
with both its flukes embedded to the depth of our 
doubling, a thickness of eight-inch planking ; all the 
filling-up work on the starboard bow and rail above 
the gunwale knocked away. 

Monday, 14///.— Last night we got a new bowsprit 
rigged out, and it being dark and misty, the ships at 
eleven p.m. lay-to for the night. To-day we passed 
several bergs, some blue petrel, and several sooty and 
black-backed albatrosses ; also a black and white long- 
pointed-wing bird in the distance, resembling the sheer- 
water or skimmer. On the following day we got up a 
new fore-topmast, and a topsail yard, setting the fore-top- 
sail. Passed several bergs. Our other damages from 
the collision were, gig destroyed, first cutter stove in, 
with the loss of a six-pound mortar and the life-buoy. 

Friday, iSf/i — At 5.15 p.m. the bower-anchor, which 
has been sticking in the ship's side for the last six days, 
and which we have been so carrying for some 700 miles, 
was observed to work about, and on getting a spar 

A Man overboard doubling Cope Horn. 279 

wedged against it, it was cleared from the ship's side, 
and sunk in deeper w'ater than it had ever been in 

Saturday, \gf/i. — At 3.30 a.m. a berg was reported 
ahead, bearing N.W. by N., and all hands turned up. 
Upon going on deck I found it broad on the starboard 
(weather) bow. It was blowing a fresh gale, with a heavy 
sea running, and misty weather. Having wore ship, we 
burnt two blue lights to warn the Terror, on our weather 
beam, of her danger. Passed near to another berg dur- 
ing the day, and I saw the first little petrel during the 
voyage. It was swimming within shot on the port beam, 
and dived as the ship passed it. At 9.30 p.m. we rounded- 
to on the starboard tack, the night being dark and thick, 
blowing a gale of wind, with a long heavy sea running 
and the chance of running into bergs before they could 
be seen in time to avoid them. Indeed, so anxious a 
time was it, that very few of the ship's company turned 
in for the night ; lat. 60'^ 2', long. 1 18° 55'. 

Wednesday, 23/7/. — On the lineof uniform temperature, 
and Beauchene Island in sight, after our having been 
out of sight of land for the long space of 136 days. 

Saturday, April 2nd. — For the last ten days we have 
been much favoured by the moonlight nights and fair 
winds, often going before it under a press of canvas, 
studding-sails low and aloft. Some time this morning 
we doubled the much celebrated Cape Horn, but owing 
to a sudden shift in the wind during the night, we 
passed at too great a distance from it to get a sight of 
it. The fresh gale and heavy, breaking sea, reminded 
us that we were in its traditionary stormy vicinity ; and 
unfortunately, at 1.45 p.m., whilst taking in a reef in the 
main-sail, we were destined to meet with a painful 
remembrance of it, in the loss of one of our poor fellows 
overboard — Angelly, a steady, good old quartermaster 
of the watch, who, as he was stepping from tht; yard, 



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Voyages of Discovery. 


slipped and fell, rolling down the main-rigging, and 
striking against the gunwale in his descent ; the sound 
of which I heard, although in my cabin below at the time;. 

On my reaching the deck and looking over the stern, 
I saw him clinging to the life-buoy, which had been let 
go, and which he had almost instantly reached by swim- 
ming. Abernethy, ever the foremost in all emergencies, 
was already in the port quarter-boat, with a volunteer 
crew, all ready for lowering. But Captain Ross, deeming 
it impracticable for a boat to live in the sea that was 
running, wore the ship round, with the intention of pass- 
ing close enough to Angelly for a rope to be thrown him ; 
but unhappily the ship fell off before reaching him, 
though only a cable's length to windward. We tacked 
at 2.40 p.m., and in ten minutes we fetched the life- 
buoy, passing to windward of it very close. But the 
poor fellow was no longer on it. Nothing but the two 
breakers, with the small red flag waving over them, of 
which, only a few days previously, the buoy had been con- 
structed, were now to be seen. Doubth'ss he had sunk 
exhausted and benumbed with cold in the heavy sea, in 
the interval taken up by the board we were compelled to 
make. This is the third of our crew lost by drowning 
since our departure from England ; so unlucky has this 
ship been through accidents, for a fourth was suffocated 
in a tank in the hold at Ilobart Town. Yet not a single 
death has occurred from disease or sickness, throughout 
the voyage. Several Cape petrel both hovered and swam 
round the buoy, as it drifted by us ; as if singing a last 
sad requioii over the sailor's c^rave. Soon afterwards 
the sea rapidly went down, ei 'ng in an evening of 
drizzling rain. Lat. 57° 25', long. 67° 36'. 

Sunday, yd. — Saw a chionis for the first time since 
our departure from Kerguelen's Land. It was hovering 
over the mast-heads. The ash-backed and the Cape 
petrel very numerous. At 6.30 p.m. blowing a fresh 

Bcmichenc Island and East Fallclaudin si o lit. 2S1 

gale; passed a brig on our port beam, standing to the 
S.W. We showed a light, which she answered by a 
light astern. This is the first sail we have seen for 
upwards of four months. The night set in dark with 
drizzling rain. On the following day I saw two more 
ehionis ; wounded both, and lost both, which was to be 
regretted ; I believed them to be a different species from 
that of Kerguelen's Land. To-day the birds about us 
have been numerous, skimming in the wake, or wheeling 
round us. Cape pigeon, ash-backed petrel, giant pet''el, 
stormy petrel, black-backed albatross, and several wan- 
dering albatrosses {Diomedia cxulciis). Cloudy, but 
bracing day, with a fiery breeze, and lump of a sea 
running, squalls, and showers of rain— altogether a wild- 
looking day. Black clouds chasing each other over 
the blue sky, with a yellowish-red glare in the horizon, 
the fiery breeze scattering the foaming crests of the 
waves with a smoke-like spray. 

Tuesday, ^tli. — I was aroused from my sleep a little 
before three a.m. with the report of land in sight. I saw 
Beauchene Island on the weather (port bow), bearing 
N.N.E., about three leagues distant. It was one of the 
most lovely mornings w^e have experienced during our 
long voyage. Soon after six the sun rose in a clear blue 
sky ; the water smooth, although there was a fresh 
breeze, the ship being under her studding-sails, low and 
aloft, going about seven knots ; a number of fish leaping 
out of the water, and birds numerous. Albatrosses 
and petrel, with a solitary ehionis and lestris, flew past 
the ship ; whilst whole squadrons of cormorants came 
off from the islands, wheeling around us several times in 
their habitual prying, curious manner. 

About 2.30 p.m. the mainland of East Falkland rose 
like a faint cloud in the horizon to windward. It was a 
n>ost charming day, like a midsummer one, to our feelings ; 
thermometer 44°, lat. 52° 36', long. 58" 42'. At eight 

.. „Vti' 

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Voyas^cs of Discovery. 


p.m. sounded in thirty-eight fathoms. Beauchene Island 
was the first land \vc had seen for the last four months 
and upwards. We have now been between four and five 
months without seeing land. 

Wednes(hiy, April 6tli. — Beating up for Berkeley 
Sound, with a fresh breeze and thick weather, passing 
many patches of seaweed. After rounding a point in 
very thick fog, we passed Hog Island at four p.m. The 
land here has much the aspect of the Shetlands or the 
Orkneys, in undulating slopes of brownish-green peat, and 
interspersed with tufts of the tussac grass. We came to 
an anchor in five fathoms at 5.10 p.m., off a small creek 
near the settlement, about two miles distant. The small 
Government-house is indicated by a flagstaff, having an 
adjacent store-house and long peat-roofed shed. As we 
came up the sound, saw a troop of the wild horses of the 

! * 

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The Falkland Islands — Promotion to all except the medical officers-- 
A shooting excursion — Natural history of the islands— The place 
described — Bullock-hunting — Bl.ick-necked swans. 

JVednesday, April 6ih. — On scndiii':^ a boat on shore to 
the governor's, Lieutenant Moody of the Engineers, a 
Navy List, with the promotions of some of the officers of 
the expedition, was brouglit on board ; gratifying to thos(i 
whose services have met with such prompt acknowledge- 
ment for our great discoveries, as it was disappointing to 
those left out in the cold. For although all the senior exe- 
cutives, eligible for advancement, received a step in rank, 
the senior medical officers of their department were, as 
usual, left out, and their services ignored, notwithstand- 
ing they had extra duties to perform, natural history, in 
addition to their professional routine. 

Friday, %t!i. — Squally and showerv. At five p.m. I 
landed at the Government Creek for the first time, and 
on the following morning, Saturday, 9th, weighed at 5.40, 
and warped the ship in shore, opposite the pond, above 
Government House. The secretary brought me a note 
from the governor, and I landed with him; had an interview 
with the governor, and returned on board at four p.m. 

Monday, wtli. — At nine a.m. I landed on a shooting 
excursion, calling upon the governor on my way. I 
reached St. Salvador Bay at noon. Found rabbits 
numerous on the low sandbanks skirtinsr the beach. Sli(jt 

W I 


Vflyi\Qxs of Discovery. 


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nine, black and white in colour. I saw a number of the 
island geese, steamer-ducks, hawks, thrushes, and sand- 
pipers. Started on my return at 3.30 p.m. ; shooting a 
few birds on my way back — a hawk, four thrushes, and, 
from the boat, a male upland-goose ; saw only one snipe. 
St. Salvador Bay is about four miles distant ; I got on 
board at six p.m. Day gloomy, and night with rain. 

Sunday, 1 7///.— Captain Gardener, R.N., the missionary 
from Patagonia, arrived here in a schooner. 

Tuesday, \gth. — Gloomy day. At nine a.m. I landed 
in the cutter at Hog Island, a long and narrow strip of 
land, boggy in the centre, and belted with the tussac 
grass, growing in tufts, close together, five or six feet in 
height, along the cliffs bordering the sea. The rocks on 
the beach are composed of clay-slate and quartz, strati- 
fied at a considerable angle. The island is separated 
from the mainland by a fordable creek. I shot a heron 
and two chionis, and, as I had anticipated, the latter 
proved to be a different species to the Kerguelen's Land 
one. I also shot eight cormorants at one shot, which, 
with a duck, made up my game-bag. A party of gauchos 
had been lassoing cattle, seven out of a herd of 135, of 
all sizes, ages, and sex — from the old bull and cow to 
the young calf. After throwing the bolas round the 
animal, they cut the ham-strings and then the throat. I 
returned on board about four p.m. ; and at six p.m. dined 
with the governor at Government House; met Cap- 
tain Gardener, and Captains Ross and Crozier there. I 
left at 9.30 p.m. 

Wednesday, 27///. — Dined in the cabin with Captain 
Ross to meet the governor (IJeutenant Moody), Captain 
Gardener, and Captain Crozier ; also the governor's 

Monday, May gtli. — Left the ship at 9.35 a.m., in the 
seal-skin punt, and pulled myself across the sound in 
thirty-five minutes fcom our little jetty. Fine calm morn- 

1 I 

Remarkable Stone Streams of the Falklands. 2S5 

iii<^. Hauled the boat up on tlie beach, where I shot three 
black oyster-catchers, and crossed a creek to the southern 
ridge of hills. Reached the summit at two i).m. : here I 
shot a rabbit and two black hawks. Saw a troop of a 
score of wild horses : they scampered off at a great rate, 
accompanied by three or four foals, making a curve 
round the base of the hill in single file. On my return, 
at 2.30 p.m., I came across them again, when they moved 
off in the same way. 

The summit of the ridge consists of quartz in ruin-like 
masses, having numerous large fragments scattered about. 
A deep valley divides the ridge from Mount \'ernet, 
through which descends one of those remarkable streams 
of stones, perhaps a mile in length, so peculiar to the 
Falklands, and for the origin of which it is not an easy 
matter to account in any very satisfactory way. The 
summit of Mount Vernet was concealed in mist, but I 
had a fine view of the arms of St. Salvador Bay, ex- 
tending deeply up. I shot an ash and white-backed 
hawk, on my return round the head of the sound, as I 
had to leave my little boat behind, a head-wind proving 
too strong for her to buffet with. I got on board at 
5.10 p.m. 

Thursday, igth. — Fine bright sun with light airs all 
day. At 9.30 a.m. I started from the landing-place on 
the beach on an excursion round the top of the bay or 
sound ; on reaching the south beach, I found the skin- 
boat I left there last week all right; and at 11.30 a.m. 
launched her and shoved off, pulling along the beach to 
the south creek. On passing a small cove at the head 
of a valley, I saw a number of rabbits sporting about 
among the low underwood ; and on a remarkable green 
patch of grass sloping down to the beach, about a score 
geese were reposing, and amongst them three or four 
upland ones. Passed numbers of cormorants on the 
rocky ledges, so stupid or indifferent to danger as to 




Voyuiocs of Discovery. 

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.111 J 1 

allow tlic boat to pass within an oar's length of thuni. 
I pulled to a small tussac-clad hill, on a small island 
having a low rocky beach, near the upper end of the 
creek, only about two miles from the entrance to the 
sound. Left the top of the creek at 3.15 p.m., and pulled 
round the point into the sound. At 3.45 p.m., passing 
whole squadrons of steamer-ducks swimming off the 
kelp, and through which I had some dilFiculty in getting 
the light punt, and more than once ran aground in shoal 
water on a reef of gravel and shells, extending out from 
the point for several hundred yards on the falling of the 

Numbers of kelp-geese {A/iscr aiitarcticn), the gander 
pure white, whilst the goose is elegantly barred with 
black and white, a remarkable contrast, and from their 
habit of feeding along the shore, the gander is seen a 
long distance off, whilst the goose is invisible from her 
plumage, so much the colour of the shingle, concealing 
her in the distance. After a long pull I reached the 
ship at 5.20 p.m. The moon shone brightly in a cloud- 
less azure-blue sky — altogether a lovely night ; and I was 
fortunate in having a light air for my light skiff, as I had 
both wind and the ebb-tide to pull against. My game- 
bag contained four upland-geese, and besides the value 
of their skins for the collection, their bodies when roasted 
supplied a delicious variety of food for our mess ; four 
kelp-gcese, handsome birds for their skins, but too fishy 
in flavour to be of use for the table ; a steamer-duck, a 
brown hawk, two black oyster-catchers, three ducks, 
three cormorants, and two of the beautiful chionis. 

Monday^ 2^rd. — Fine day ; I left the ship again in the 
skin-boat, at 9.10 a.m., and landed at 9.55 on the opposite 
side of the sound at Greenbank Cove ; and before I 
reached the land was tossed about in all directions by 
one of those sudden squalls of such frequent occurrence 
here, I shot one black and three black and white oyster- 

Shooting Excursion to Urania Bay. 


catchers, a chionis, and a small gull on the reef. Pulled 
inside the kelp to the entrance of the creeks, and at noon 
hauled the punt up near the Greenbank. Shot a male 
and female upland-goose at one shot, and four rabbits in 
the valley ; which I left at three p.m., with the punt hauled 
up on the beach, as it blew too hard to venture back 
in her. I therefore walked all the way round the head of 
the sound, back to the ship, which I reached at 5.15 p.m. 
Shot an ash and white hawk and a snipe returning. Met 
the governor in the bay at the top of the sound. Night 

Thursday, 26th. — Landed at nine a.m. and walked 
round the top of the sound to the skin-boat I left on the 
opposite side, and which I reached at 10.45 ^-"i- Shot 
two rabbits and five finches in the Greenbank ravine. At 
noon I launched the punt, and pulled into the creek, 
when on rounding the rocky point, a sudden violent 
squall compelled me to haul heron shore on the opposite 
side, where I left her at the edge of the green bank 
above high-water-mark. I shot a female Antarctic goose 
here, and then started for Urania Bay, so named from 
the loss of a French frigate of that name here a few 
years ago, commanded by Captain Freycinet. It is about 
eight miles from our anchorage ; I reached it at i .30 p.m.; 
one arm of the creek runs up to within about a hundred 
yards or two of the bay, boggy and swampy. 

Urania Bay forms a white sandy beach, between one 
and two miles in length, flanked by a narrow strip of 
low sand-dunes, covered with a small berry-bearing plant, 
and from fifty to a hundred paces across. I shot a teal 
on a small lake here, and ten small plover from a small 
flock on the beach, twice four at each shot ; they were not 
at all shy, running along the sands again after the report 
of the gun. The weather cleared up fine, but still 
blowing hard. At 3.30 p.m. I started over very swampy 
ground, along the opposite side to the creek, skirting the 



/ '(jj'diirs of Piscovcry, 




li^j . 

base of the hills. Saw several upland-gm-se, and shut 
four, two at one shot, and the other two at single shots 
immediately afterwards. Had to leave them en cache, 
covered with bushes at the entrance of a rabbits' burrow 
at the head of the main stream of the creek. About a 
quarter of a mile above it sliot three Caracara hawks, as 
they were watchini; my proceedings at a respectful 
distance, with the intent of making my geese their prize, 
I well knew, as soon as my back was turned. But I 
reversed this by making prizes of them f(jr the ornitho- 
logical c(jllection. Only saw one snipe, which I shot, 
also a hawk and a brown thrush. I saw three wild 
horses. Reached the shingle beach bay at the head of 
the sound at dusk, about five p.m., but it being high 
spring tides, 1 could not return by the beach, and had a 
very rough journey over the top of the cliffs, amongst 
long grass^ tufted hummocks, and swampy bog, alter- 

The night was dark, with a black, threatening .'-ky to 
windward, from which, every now and then, flashes of 
sheet lightning issued. I reached the landing-place at 
six p.m., and had to wait some time for a boat, all hands 
on board being employed in mooring ship ; a tremendous 
squall with heavy rain came on after I got on board. 
My excursion exceeded sixteen miles. 

Friday, 2"] ill. — This forenoon Captain Ross gave me 
the whale-boat, with two hands, to bring back my skin- 
boat with the game I left behind me the other day ; and 
soon after we left the ship a heavy squall, accompanied by 
snow so thick that we entirely lost sight of both ships and 
land, shaping our course by the wind, and approached 
very near to the opposite shore before we saw it. Landed 
and walked over the hill for about a quarter of a mile to 
recover the four geese I left behind yesterday ; shot two 
rabbits, a black and a grey one, in the brushwood, and 
the first snipe I have met with in such a place; also shot 

Excursiotts tojolnnoti si larhoiiv and St Salvador liay\ 289 

a red-breasted starling, and in piillinj^ down the creek I 
shot five ducks and a kelp-gmder. On reachinjj; the; 
spot where I had left theseil-skin boat, she was no longer 
there, although I had taken the precaution to place her 
some feet above the water-mark of the highest tides, kei-l 
upwards, and being also in a bight of the creek, the wind 
blew dead on ; indeed, it is inconceivable that even the 
gale and unusually high spring-tide of last night could 
have carried her away, yet not a vestige of hiT oars or 
the game left with her could be discovered along the 
shore. I shot two red-breasted starlings at a shot here, 
and a black and white oyster-catcher. We shoved off at 
4.15 p.m., and reached the ship just after dusk. 

Tuesday^ 3i-^'^- — At 10.30 a.m. started on an excursion 
to Johnson's Harbour ; reached it at 12.30 p.m. ; shot a 
rabbit, and on the beach two black oyster-catchers at a 
shot, and two brown thrushes in the ravine. At 2.30 p.m. 
returned across the hills to Fisherman's Creek ; the whole 
of the low grounds, with the ridge of hills bounding them 
to the north, presented the most dreary aspect, with the 
stillness and silence of death, there being nothing to 
relieve the eye from the white mantle of snow which 
enveloped the whole, and rendered travelling most labo- 
rious work, sinking at every step mid-leg deep in snow, 
amongst long grass, bushes, and other vegetation, passing 
on my way a small pond or two frozen over. 

Wednesday, June \st. — A blowing, stormy day, cold 
and piercing, with a quick succession of hail-storms and 
driving mist. I started at eleven a.m. for St. Salvador 
Bay ; it took me one hour and a quarter, so trackless was 
the road rendered by the snow. I shot five red-breasted 
starling, three at one shot, and two at the next. Com- 
menced my return at 3.45 p.m. amid snow-drift and dark 
passing hail-storms, the whole snow-clad country and sky 
above presenting the most wild and monotonous aspect ; 
reached the ship at five p.m. 

VOL. I. U 

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Voyiiges of Discovery. 

Monday, 20th. — At five p.m. I dined at the governor's, 
and returned on board at 8. 15 p.m. 

Friday, 242'//. — The Carysfort, of twenty-six guns, 
arrived from Rio Janeiro with supplies for us, on her way 
round the Horn ; she was commanded by Lord George 

Thursday, 2,0/11.- — I dined on board the Carysfort with 
the gun-room ollicers from five p.m. to 12.30. 

Tliursday, July ']th. — At 7.30 a.m. I left the ship with 
Abernethy and his foraging party for wild cattle for the 
use of the ship. At 8.30 a.m. we crossed over the narrow 
neck of land to St. Salvador Day, and at 9.40 embarked 
there in a boat ; blowing fresh with drizzling rain. 
Passing between two islands, we landed on the one to the 
left for about twenty minutes, to allow the boat's crew to 
dine. The birds here, especially the oyster-catchers, 
were unusually tame and inquisitive. We next proceeded 
u|) a creek to the encampment, where the tents suddenly 
burst upon us as we rounded a point, and landed at 
3.40 p.m. The two men left in charge of the dogs were 
on the look-out for us. The two tents were placed on 
the beach, backed by a bank, having a creek running up 
on the right. We had some cold beef for supper, and I 
distributed two bottles of port wine, which I had brouglit 
v.ith me for the purpose, amongst the party, and at 
eight p.m. turned in. I^ainy night. 

Friday, 8//1. — After a steak breakfast I started at 
ten a.m. on an excursion to the hills at the back of the 
tents. Walking round the creek to the eastward saw an 
old black bull under the hills ; ascended a ridge to tlu> 
height of about 500 or 600 feet, composed of quartz, more 
crystalline and veined than at Berkeley Sound. On tlu' 
hill-side a herd of seven cattle wore browsing. Commenced 
my return by a watercourse and stream of stones at 
2.35 p.m., and reached the tents at 4.20 p.m. 

Saturday, gth. — We all started at 9.15 a.m. over the 


Conjtict <c'.7// a Wild Bull. 


hills to the westward, cattle-hunting. The day was cloudy 
and squally, with a stroui^ bri'cze and snow showers. In 
about an hour, after going some three miles, three herds 
of cattle appeared in sight, feeding on the sides of a 
ridge. When we had got within a quarter of a mile of 
one of the herds, the dogs were slipped, four fine, power- 
ful hounds, named " Laporte," " Brigand," '' York," and 
" T(Mn," the latter a cross of the pointer and buU-terrirr, 
nicknamed " Bully," remarkable for its ugliness. Before 
the dogs reached the herd an old, black bull, stationed 
on an adjacent hill as sentinel, gave the alarm by running 
towards the herd and making a loud bellowing. The 
dogs, however, after a short chase, secured a heifer and 
a calf, Al)out a mile further on three large cows appeared 
(in a hill above us. I wounded one, and Abernethy shot 
another of them, soon after which we came upon another 
herd, near which several old bulls had statitined them- 
selves, and 1 went alone in pursuit of two standing 
together on a ridire at some little distance off. 

1 laving fired at and wounded one of them in the moulh, 
the ball passing through the upper lip and tongue, lie 
ipislantly charged me, but the ball from my second 
barrel went through his heart. It was an anxious 
moment though, as the infuriated beast, tossing his horns, 
and snorting the blood from his nostrils, tore down upon 
iiu', bt'nding his head to the ground for the final charge, 
tor which I had reserved my fire till he had ajjproaelud 
very near me. As my own lift,' depended on the accuracy 
of my aim, this was the moment I seized upon to bring 
my second barrel to bear upon the region of his heart 
rather than his head, which had been tossed and lowered 
too abruptly for a sure aim. lie gave a spring upwards 
as 1 fired, and came down with such thundering force 
wiihin a few feet of me as lo make the earth treml^le 
beneath my feet. Abernethy, good fellow, who had been 
a distant observer ot the risk I had incurred, and, trusting 

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Voyages of Discovery. 

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to his own unerring aim, scarcely allowed time for the 
report of my gun to reach him before he fired, his ball 
whizzing rather too close to my ears to be altogether 
pleasant, striking the bull, however, as he was in the very 
act of falling with my own ball in his heart. On opening 
him we found Abernethy's ball (w'nch was a rifle one, and 
very different to my smoothbore double-barrel one) in the 
lungs. He was a line black bull, with a splendid pair of 
horns, which I preserved as a memento. His companion 
prudently made off. 

Three of the herd were killed by the dogs. In a valley 
about half a mile of? I saw what I took to be a young 
black bull, and went in pursuit, accompanied by the dogs, 
and whilst our party were engaged opening the animals 
already killed. Having crossed a rivulet, the dogs seized 
the animal, which, pnning too powerful for them, dragged 
them over a rising ground beyond, and I lost sight of 
them for a time, but was directed to the spot by the 
baying of the dogs and the bellowing of the beast, and as 
I came up with them the animal was again in the act 
of shakini{ off the doi{s, three of whom had attacked 
it in front, and the fourth had hol-d of its tail. 

I fired both barrels, the first shut brought her on 
her knees, and the second en her broadside dead, for it 
turned out to be a fine young cow, I am sorry to say, with 
calf, but a most fierce and powerful beast. The young 
dog " Laporte," a fine, strong animal of a light fawn 
colour, and with a smooth coat, exhibited much spirit in 
this encounter, and acquitted himself well, this being 
the first time he has been engaged in an attack on wild 
cattle, we having brought him with us in the boat. The 
dogs next started off to attack another herd on an 
outlying ridge, and protected by two or three old bulls. 
I had gone within two miles of the Coral near Swan 
Bay. In returning, two mon? were killed out of a herd, 
and at three p.m. we' shaped our course for the tents, 


Excursion to Si^'an Bay ; meet eight Bulls. 293 

through snow and wind ; got back at four p.m. with 
twelve head of cattle killed in all. The early part of the 
night was one of wind and rain, followed bysnowand frost. 

Monday, \\tli. — At 8.15 a.m. I made an excursion to 
Swan Bay, with fine weather and a fresh breeze. Crossed 
over the hills to the westward, and at eleven a.m. reached 
a bay east of the Coral. .Saw several upland geese here, 
and walked along the shore to the bay, above which is 
the Coral. I observed recent tracks of the wild bulls on 
the sandy beich, and saw an old bull on the cliff above 
me. In passing round the points, and along fine sandy 
and gravelly curved beaches, I saw some Brent gei^se, 
but I did not reach Swan liay. At 1.40 p.m I struck off 
across the hills, from a remarkable black-looking wall of 
rock, excavated below, and on the opposite side of a 
stream, on my return, and reached the tents at 4.30 p.m. 
Shot a brace of grey ducks here. 

7^//('S(/av, I2tli. — At nine a.m. I again started for Swan 
Bay, accompanied by Abernethy and two of our dogs. 
The latter soon left us to rejoin the party in pursuit of 
the cattle, ^^ight fine bulls, posted on a rising ground 
not half a mile from us, catching sight of us, started at 
once across the intervening space, shaping their course 
direct for us at a hand-gallop, apparently with the inten- 
tion of charging us, as they fortned themselves into a 
compact squadron, led on by a fine, griz?ly-col(/ured old 
bull, with magnificent spreading horns. We stood our 
ground on the very edge of the ridge to receive them, 
with our guns ready cocked, having a ball in each baiTcl. 
However, after getting within some ten or twelve paces 
of us, they suddenly thought better of it, alt(,Ting their 
course, wore round, and descended the ravine, looking 
very hard at us as they wheeled about, and directed 
their course for the herd, then being attacked by the 
dogs and our party. Had we attempted a retreat, I make 
not the least doubt but they would have attacked us. 

i < 

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^ ' ' 

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Vovagxs of Discovery, 

1 h'\ 

I shot a teal in a rivulet we had to cross on our way 
to the black wall of rock, where we found an old black 
bull lying down on the opposite side within rifle shot. 
Having fired several shots at him without effect, he got 
up and walked a few paces towards us, when we forded 
the stream, and he made a stand, until I got within some 
fifty yards of him, fired, and shot him through the centre 
of the forehead. He fell, and died with scarcely a 
struggle. Having a fine pair of horns, I intend pre- 
serving them. We now crossed over the grass-clad 
hills, fording two more rivers before we reached Swan 

Here I found the object of my search, the black- 
necked swan {Cygnus nign'co//is) —seven or eight of these 
most elegant and beautiful of all the swan family 
swimming on the lake. I had a very long shot at them, 
but they were so shy and wary they kept out of shot, in 
the very centre of the lake. I killed a brace of the 
smaller species of upland geese, not larger than the 
sheldrake, at one shot. We next walked over to Fox 
Point, where our people had stated they had seen a fox 
only a few days previously ; but we could not discover 
any trace of him. I here shot another brace of the small 
geese at a shut. Started from Fox Point at two p.m., 
and, it being low water, we waded across the arm of the 
bav, by the black rock, where the river enters it. We 
saw a great number of cattle in various directions to-day. 
One herd to the westward must have numbered upwards 
of 100 head. The night was moonlight, with occasional 
snowstorms. We reached the tent at six p.m., it was 
freezing as we waded across the neck. 

IVcdnesdav, \'^tli. — Shot an owl near the tents, and 
walked to Black Rock River and back, bringing with me 
the horns of the black bull I shot yesterday. 

i ! 

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I 111 


'I'lip to Swan Bay— Description of the camp — Streams of stones— Liid- 
shooting— Departure. 

Thursday, \Jiftli. — Fine clay. At 8.30 a.m. I slartud on 
anothe." excursion to Swan Bay, accompanied by Abcr- 
ncthy and two of the dogs. We saw about a dozen 
swans, but they were sagacious enough to persistently 
keep to the centre of the lake. I fired both barrels at 
them, as chance shots, being very desirous of obtaining 
a specimen, which would be a great desideratum for our 
ornithological colleclio'.. We walked round Fox I^oint. 
saw many teal in the inlets, and I shot one of the smaller 
kind of upland goose as we passed the cascade where I 
shot the old bull, and brought away his fine bushy tail. 
Cloudy, but moonlight evening. Reached the tents at 
6.30 p.m. 

Friday^ 15///.— Gloomy day. At 9.15 started for 
Swan Bay, accompanied by " Laporte." Had a shot at 
our old acquaintance the large grizzly bull, but he took to 
his heels, declining any further encounter. Saw six 
swans in the bay, but tht;y were far too wary to be 
a|)proached near enough to secure a specimen. I 
chanced two distant shots as before, with a similar 
result, I reached the bay at noon, and left it at 
1.30 p.m. Shot four teal, three at one shot. Saw 
several old bulls during my excursion to Swan Bay, 
which is nine miles distant from the tents, and T'ox Point 

^1 V 



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Voyages of Discovery. 


ten miles, over ridges and valleys of grass, and boggy 
ground, interspersed by streams and rivulets. Black 
Rock River being six or seven miles distant. On my 
return at 4.45 p.m., I found a fine calf tethered near the 
tents, which had been caught by the dogs during my 

Saturday, \6ih. — Saw a pair of swans flying overhead. 
I shot two upland geese at a shot near the creek, and 
one of the smaller kind on the beach. As soon as the tide 
floated our boat, at 10.30 a.m., we started on our return 
to the ship, well freighted wiih fresh beef for the ships' 
companies, leaving two men in charge of the dogs and 
tents. Landed upon an island clothed with tussac-grass, 
where I shot a grey duck. At 1.30 p.m. we landed at 
St. Salvador Bay, and I shot an upland goose as we 
beached the boat. At 2.30 p.m. we followed the track 
to the ships, driving the poor calf before us. Met 
Captain Ross at the observatory, and got on board again 
at four p.m, after an absence of ten days in the camp, 
as the surrounding country is here termed, and the whole 
aspect of which presented the same kind of moorland 
region as -ound Berkeley Sound ; the lower land of 
alttiiu.c iidges and valleys of the clay-slate and sand- 
stone formation abounding in fossil shells, and clothed 
with the withered-looking brown grass everywhere met 
with, imtermingled here and there with thi diddle-dee of 
the settlers, a small berry-bearing plant. Narrow water- 
courses intersect most of the valleys, where the soil is 
generally swampy and boggy. 

This tract extends for two or three miles from the 
shores of the bay, backed by a range of quartzose hills, 
rising to an elevation of 500 or 600 feet, at th' base of 
which 1 observed the btrearas of stones so remarkable in 
the range of hills south of Berkeley Sound, all the frag- 
ments composed of the same kind of angular-shaped 
quartz. But 1 did not meet with any traces of organic 



Lieut. MiMurdo, first of the " Terror" invalided. 297 

remains in tlic clav-slatc 01 sandslune in the vicinity. 
Birds were more abundant, more especially the smaller 
kind of geese, rarely found about Berkeley Sound. 
Upland geese, too, were far more numerous, as well as 
tile teal, and much less shy. The cattle were generally 
dispersed over the hills and ridges skirting the valleys, 
which, affording them an extensive field of vision all 
round, made them safe from any sudden surprise. They 
roved in herds of from seven to eight to upwards of 
100 head in each, the old bulls invariably keeping 
apart from the herd, stationing themselves on a ridge 
not far distant, either singly or in pairs, ready to 
give the alarm on the approach of danger ; this they 
announced by bellowing and running towards the herd, 
which instantly, taking the hint, made off at full speed, 
whilst ihe old bulls, having performed their duty, kept 
their ground, disdaining to fly, and thus falling an easy 
prey to the hunter who may be a good shot, and cool 
enough to put a ball through the heart or brain. Short 
of this, if otherwise wounded, they are most formidable 
opponents, giving but brief time to reload for a second 
attack. The tents were about twelve miles from St. 
Salvador Bay, and twenty head of cattle were killed 
during these ten days. 

Monday, August \st. — I received a note from Captain 
Allen Gardener, askingmeto call and see his littledaughter, 
who was unwell, which I did at ten a.m. ; returning on 
board again at noon. It blew too strong afterwards to 
get on shore again as no boat could leave the ship. 

Wednesday, i^th. — Captain Allen Gardener came on 
board to-day to thank me for my attention to his little 
girl, during her recent indisposition. 

Saturday, 2']tli. — At two p.m. McMurdo, the first 
lieutenant of the Terror, was invalided. In him I have 
lost an esteemed friend, and the expedition one of its 
best officers, whom we could ill spare ; but he has 

11 11 

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Voyages of Ih'scoz'ciy 




been suffering from an internal complaint, which left him 
no other alternative. Had a long chat with him on deck 

Tuesday ^Septcmhct- 6th. — At 9.15 a.m. I landed at the 
head of the sound, crossing over to St. Salvador Bay. 
Whilst pulling across the sound, I shot two- black-headed, 
pink-breasted gulls. When about three miles north of St. 
Salvador, I passed a "Fachine" ravine swarming with rab- 
bits. In crossing over a sloping ridge, clothed with the 
long yellowish-brown grass which, with the tussac-grass 
[Dactylis ccrspitosa), the balsam hog {Dolax glcbaria), 
and Veronica clliptica^ form such prominent features in 
the vegetation of these moorlands, interspersed in places 
with a sprinkling of pretty flowers, I shot three brace 
of snipe and two coral red-legged gulls ; returning on 
board at 5.30 p.m. — my last shooting excursion here. 
It has been a beautiful summer day, a bright warm sun, 
yet a few patches of snow still lingered in places. 

Wednesday^ ']tli. — Called this afternoon at Captain 
Gardener's, to take leave of him and his family, and 
afterwards on board the Terror to see McMurdo, whom 
I found taking a solitary dinner ; and on returning on 
board I wrote a letter home. 

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B- fe 



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Ilcrmitc Island, Cape Horn — Ticira del Fucgo — The natives and tlieir 
wigwams — My solitary exploration of the island— Ascent oC 
I'orster's Peak. 

T/i//rs(f(!j', September Sf/i. — At 9.40 a.m. \\v. sailud for 
Hcrniitc Island, distant about 400 miles, a boisterous 
passage of twelve days, encountering a succession of 
south-westerly gales. We made all sail down the sound 
under topgallant and studding-sails, before a fresh breeze, 
and a misty, drizzling rain. Got clear of the sound soon 
after noon, our stock of provisions consisting of 100 
rabbits, two pigs, and fresh beef. Night cleared up fine 
and moonlight, the Southern Cross appearing very bright. 
Monday, \gtli. — At nine a.m. madi- the land, the Bar- 
nevelts and Cape Deceit on the weather-bow, Cape Morn, 
beinir six or seven leagues to leeward, under a mantle of 
snow. About tw(j p.m. we doubled the celebrated Horn, 
passing within half a mile of it. It is a bold, bluff-look- 
ing headland for its height, barely 700 feet. It presents 
a precipitous, hard, greyish-looking face of rock to the 
southward, variegated in places with yellowish-brown vege- 
tation. The S.W. extremity presented a rugged, broken, 
l)icturesque aspect. I-ying off it are two small rocks, 
over which the sea was breaking. TVom four to eight 
p.m. we were employed beating up the IJay of St. Francis 
for St. Martin's Cove, Hermite Island, off the entrance 
to which we came to an anchor for the night, in seventeen 
fathoms and a half, sand. A thick mist descending from 


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1.4 III 1.6 














WEBSTER, N.Y. 14580 

(716) 873-4503 








Voyages of Discovery. 

the hills, veiled the land. After dark we tacked close 
under Hall Island, a high, steep, and bold rock; and 
soon after we had anchored at eight p.m., a boat was 
sent up the cove, and reported having seen a light on 

In the gloom of the night the high land forming an 
amphitheatre in front of us appeared very close, like 
scenes on the stage. The Terror anchored about a 
mile outside of us, near Chanticleer Island. 

Tuesday, 20///. — All hands employed warping the ship 
up the cove, and at three p.m. she was moored about 
one-third of a mile from its head. The best bower on 
the north shore, in ten fathoms, and the small bower in 
twelve and three-quarter fathoms on the south shore, on 
a bottom of sand, shells, mud, and black specks. The 
morning was fine ; both captains landed before breakfast 
to select a spot for the observatory. I could see from 
the ship the smoke curling up from the native hut or 
wigwam, and five of the Fuegians on the beach, all naked, 
with the exception of a seal-skin mat thrown over one 
shoulder, the shoulder to windward. They shouted for 
us to come on shore, and exhibited no appearance what- 
ever of fear or astonishment. Their canoe was lying on 
the shingle ueach. The weather in the afternoon became 
overcast with snow squalls. 

The only birds seen were a solitary pair of the Antarctic 
goose on the rocks, and a pair of steamer-ducks, with 
a cormorant or two swimming on the water, an occa- 
sional hawk or vulture hovering over the mountain 
heights, and the note of some small bird was heard in 
the woods. 

Wednesday, 2\st. — I landed for the first time at eight 
a.m. on the shores of Tierra del Fuego in the boat 
taking the observatory on shore. Three of the natives 
met us as we landed, saluting us with their customary 
expression, whatever it meant ; the words were "Yammer- 

Visit to the Native Wigzmtn. 


skooner." I shook hands with them all round, giving 
each an anchor-button from my uniform jacket. In their 
canoe I saw the white pigment with which they smear 
themselves over. I went to the wigwam, a dome-shaped 
hut, about the size and form of an ordinary haycock, 
formed by a number of branches of trees driven into the 
ground and forming a circle, having the ends brought 
together at the top, and the interstices filled in very 
rudely with the smaller branches, leaving a small opening 
fronting the beach as a doorway. In the centre of the 
interior a few embers were still smouldering on the bare 
ground ; a bag made of the skin of the steamer-duck, 
having the feathers inside, and a piece of the skin lay in 
one corner; from the roof was suspended a calabash- 
shaped bottle made of kelp, near which stood two spears 
with barbed bone heads, and on the ground lay four 
pieces of sticks tied together at their ends by means of 
rushes, the whole forming an oblong square, the use of 
which I could form no notion of. 

Whilst I was examining the spears, the youngest of 
the three P'uegians, a youth of about seventeen perhaps, 
entered the wigwam, and I struck a barter with him for 
one of them, giving him half a dozen anchor-buttons 
from my jacket in exchange, with which he appeared to 
be highly satisfied. He had a goodnatured expression 
of countenance. 

On leaving the wigwam, I took a ramble up the beech 
woods, some hundred yards up the valley above the cove, 
amongst bushes and rushes, and came upon a number 
of stake steps and bridges over the watercourse, indicating 
the site of some observatory erected here years ago by a 
former shipmate of mine in the Ilccla, Lieutenant Foster, 
when he was in command of H.M.S. Cliaiiticleer'xn those 
seas. I ascended the steep side of Mount Kater, first 
through a belt of the evergreen beech and some dead 
trees; then through a zone of arbutus, holly-leaved 






Voyages of Discovery. 

barberry, and dwarf deciduous beech, for about two- 
thirds up the hill, above which was the steep and all 
but barren peak, strewed over with a few projecting 
fragments of rock, intermingled with tufts of moss and 
lichens. Here and there a half-withered, tortuous branch 
of the deciduous beech struggled for existence through 
the stony soil, in which its roots were embedded. 

The air on the summit was very keen, the ground 
frozen hard, coated in places with ice and patches of 
snow, rendering the ascent and descent very slippery, 
with scant hold for cither hands or feet ; the projecting 
fragments of rock very treacherous to trust to, often 
giving way under the slightest pressure. When within 
a hundred feet of the summit the gusts of wind, here 
called Williwaws, became so violent, it was somewhat 
difficult to cling to the sides of the peak against them. 
However, I gained a ledge of rock on the right, from 
which I had a fine view of the surroundings. The sky 
was of a clear blue, a bright sunshine ; a large hawk 
hovering overhead. The snow-clad, rugged peaks of 
Ticrra del Fuego bounded the distant horizon to the 
north, St. Martin's Cove lying immediately beneath me, 
with four small lakes on the ridge on its opposite side, 
backed by Mount Forster and the Conical Peak ; a bay 
appearing on the north side of Hermite Island, and 
another to the westward, which, with the adjacent islands, 
completed the panorama. 

I next descended, and on my way through the woods 
found the winter's bark {Driniys IVintcri) and the holly- 
leaved barberry {Berber is ilici folia), both budding. On 
reaching the head of the cove I fired at a tree to observe 
what effect it would have on a Fuegian who was standing 
close to me, but he did not even start ; quietly walking 
up to the tree with me, he picked out one of the shots. 
The birds were very scarce, and difficult to find in the 
dense thickets; I only saw two kinds of small birds, a 



I isjt of Fitcgians to the Ship. 


creeper and a small ash-coloured warbler (or sylvia) 
similar to the Falkland Island beach-bird ; the latter I 
shot, and returned on board at five p.m. 

Thursday, 22nd. — Fine, mild, sunny day. At nine a.m. 
a canoe containing six Puegians, three of them men, two 
children, and one woman, came round the north head 
into the cove. They first went alongside the Terror, and 
then paddled towards us. Two of the men came on 
board, the oldest remaining with the woman and children 
in the canoe. One of those on board had several neck- 
laces, and a fillet bound round his head, and the hair 
smeared over with the white pigment, giving him the 
appearance of being powdered. He had a mat over one 
shoulder in the usual fashion, and, with the exception of 
this, naked as he was born ; his face was streaked trans- 
versely with bars of some brown pigment. They made 
very significant signs for something to eat, and accom- 
panied by their stereotyped expression of " Yammer- 
skooner," which probably meant "Give me;" so I gave 
them some biscuit, which they ate readily enough. In 
the centre of the canoe was a fire placed on some clay. 

In the after- part of the canoe lay four or five spears, 
near them the old man was seated, his face barred with 
black pigment. In the bows the woman reclined with a 
paddle in her hand, and a young child in her lap ; near 
her lay an old rush basket or two and a spear-head. I 
handed her a few anchor buttons, and part of a gilt per- 
cussion-cap case for the basket and the spear-head. The 
cap case seemed especially to take her fancy, for she at 
once suspended it round the child's neck. In the bottom 
of the canoe lay a pile of firewood, with some rabbits 
and upland geese they had got from the Terror, and 
under which a dog had ensconced himself out of sight. 

Their coarse, black hair, daubed over with the white 
pigment, contrasted strangely with their dark, copper- 
coloured skins, all smeared with paint, which together 


■ 1' ;, i! 


Voyages of Discovery. 

with their very crooked, spindle-like, ill-shaped lower 
extremities, gave them no very prepossessing aspect. 
All these defects, however, were counterbalanced by 
their good natured, inoffensive manner, and singular 
talent for mimicry, repeating every word spoken in the 
most clear and distinct imitation. On leaving us they 
paddled towards the wigwam containing the cove family 
of natives, but their meeting seemed one of a very 
apathetic character ; not a word appeared to be ex- 
changed between them. The woman and children did 
not land at all, never leaving the canoe. About noon 
they paddled round the north headland, the way they 
came, and were soon afterwards followed by all the party 
from the wigwam in their own canoe, leaving the cove 
wholly to ourselves ; I heard the dog barking on shore 
before they left. 

On Saturday, the 24th, the two canoes returned to the 
cove about eight a.m. with six men, four women, and four 
children, but left again at one p.m., after calling alongside 
both ships. Weather overcast, with drizzling rain. 

Monday^ 26th. — Gloomy and overcast, with drizzling 
rain. I landed at eleven a.m. on an excursion up the 
wooded ridge to the right of the observatory. Passing 
through a dense wood, I came upon a lake about a rifle 
shot across, from which I kept ascending to a gap or 
saddle between the cone-shaped peak on the left and the 
high ridge extending from Mount Forster on the right, and 
about an hour's walk from the observatoiy. The ground 
spongy and boggy, covered with lichens and mosses and 
patches of yellow grass ; wreaths of snow amongst the 

When on the summit of the saddle, looking north, a 
low tract of boggy land extended to a bay on the opposite 
side of the island, distant about two miles. Saw two 
small lakes here, and shot a thrush of the same species 
as the Falkland Island one near the observatory, and 

Excursion ncross Ilcniiilc Is/and. 


after picking up a few shtlls from the rocks, 1 returned 
on board at five p.m. 

Tuesday^ 27///. — \ ery fine, brij^ht, sunny day. At 
ten a.m. I left the ship very quietly and alone, with the 
intention of following up my discovery of yesterday, and 
crossing the island to its opposite shore, for, owing to the 
somewhat sudden disappearance of the natives after our 
arrival in the cove, Captain Ross had entertained some 
apprehensions as to their feelings towards us as intruders 
upon their domain, and consequently would not give his 
sanction to excursions out of hail or sight of the ships 
on the part of either officers or crew, for fear of treachery 
if they came across the Fuegians. But I felt that in my 
own case, with the special duties of naturalist to perform, 
I had good reason to infer that he would not expect 
this general restriction to apply to or affect my movements 
in the pursuits of science, provided I took the responsi- 
bility upon myself, and, having done so, subsequently 
made him acquainted with it. 

Accordingly 1 started at ten a.m. of the 27th. Follow- 
ing the native track from the observatory to the right of 
the watercourse and the lake, up the North Saddle, which 
I had reached yesterday, I now descended it to the other 
side through dense woods of the deciduous beech (/'\i<r/is 
antarcticd) and the evergrei.'n beech {Fagiis Forstori), 
then to the left along a watercourse over moist and boggy 
ground. Passed over two or three open glades in these 
woods, swampy, and covered with long rushes, not 
unlikely spots for moorhen. 

At one p.m. I all at once suddenly emerged without 
any previous sign whatever from the densest thicket, upon 
a shingly beach of the bay, which I had seen from the 
summit of the saddle yesterday. On the beach a pair 
of kelp geese were feeding, as usual with them, amongst 
the seaweed, and just as I was about firing at them a 
pair of grey ducks caught my eye, swimming in the 

vol.. I. X 




Voyages of Discovery. 

\ ' 

bay about loo yards to the westward ; and thinking they 
might be new to me, I skirted the bushes till I came 
within shot, fired and killed one ; at the very same moment 
a fine caracara hawk flew overhead before I observed 
him, and just as he was about alighting with outspread 
wings upon a dead tree I brought him to the ground with 
the remaining barrel. 

At this very instant, much to my surprise, I now dis- 
covered that I was in close proximity to a native wigwam, 
just within the skirts of the bushes behind mo, and which 
had been concealed from view by a shell mound, the soil 
of which was grown over by a profusion of wild celery, 
giving it a green appearance — a very " kitchen-midden " 
in short. Picking up my dead hawk, which had fallen at 
the foot of the withered tree a few paces to the left, 1 
lost no time in reloading my gun before I ventured 
farther in exploring the precincts of the native hut, first, 
however, securing the remaining duck, which had never 
left its dead companion, by firing one of my barrels I 
had just loaded. The wind being on the shore, both 
birds drifted upon the beach, and having transferred them 
with the hawk to my haversack, I reloaded the barrel, and 
thus armed I approached the wigwam, the door of which 
fronted the bay. On entering I found that its owners 
must have only recently left it, as the remains of a fire, 
with the ashes still smouldering, occupied the centre, 
which, with a few limpet shells scattered about, was all 
it contained. 

It is about five miles distant from the ships, the North 
Saddle being about midway between. I left the wigwam 
at 1.30 p.m., as I was satisfied that its inmates were lurk- 
ing about not far off, and I guarded against any sudden 
surprise by avoiding as much as possible the thickets, 
keeping to the beach. I was not, however, kept long 
in suspense, a canoe hove in sight, paddling along shore 
from the opposite side of the bay, and making for the 


Ascent of Mount rorster. 


wigwam, so that probably the owners had been on a fish- 
ing excursion when my unexpected visit to their hut had 
attracted their notice, for they are very keen-sighted, and 
no one from the ships had before this crossed the island. 
In returning over the North Saddle is a platform free from 
bushes, in shape resembling a ship's deck ; here I shot a 
male teal, out of a pair swimming in the lake below, and 
got on board at four p.m. 

Wcdnciday^ 28///. — No one from the ships haying yet 
attempted the ascent of Forster's Peak, at 10.15 a.m. I 
landed with that intention. The day proved squally, with 
showers of rain and hail alternately, and sunshine at 
intervals. I commenced my ascent at the watercourse, 
and on gaining the first ridge I continued along it till I 
reached the base of Mount Forster. Passing by a lake, 
I shot a tree-sparrow and the Falkland Island sylvia. 
After rising a second ridge I gained the summit soon 
after noon. It is formed of a very hard, compact, close- 
grained grei-nstone, highly magnetic, and forming a 
rugged pile of projecting masses and detached fragments 
of rock, the ascent being at about an angle of 45°. The 
deciduous beech even here struggles for existence on 
the bleak and barren summit, entwining itself in a tortuous 
network amongst the rocks in the scanty soil, in company 
with a few lichens and mosses. 

On its south-east aspect is a deep, wild-looking, rugged, 
perpendicular precipice, like a yawning gulf as it descends 
to the shores of the cove. Cape Horn stands boldly forth 
in the distant horizon. On the north side Mount Forster 
forms a gradual sloping descent to the low, boggy 
i^round, bounded by the north bays, and on the distant 
horizon by the mainland of Tierra del Fuego. I could 
see the shell-mounds of celery in front of the wigwam I 
visited yesterday, and counted six small lakes on the 
low ground north of the peak ; to the north-east deep 
water and the narrow boat entrance to Maxwell Harbour, 

X 2 



Voyages of Discovery 



when an opening between the hills revealed a glimpse of 
the bay to the westward, and I eounted some twelve 
islands around. 

Whilst on the summit I had an opportunity of witness- 
ing the formation of one or two of those I0c.1l squalls 
termed here " Williwaws," as they rose in the form of a 
light white, vapoury kind of cloud, gradually expandinjj^ 
in size till, reaching the opposite western hills, they burst 
forth in all their concentrated strength, gusts of wind so 
violent that I was compelled to cling to the bare rocks to 
avoid being blown over some precipice. These gusts are 
followed by hail and rain in very large drops, the air 
becoming all at once cold and most pinching to the 
fingers. This peak is very nearly as high as Mount 
Kater. At 1.40 p.m. I descended towards the North 
Saddle, which I reached at three p.m., along the wooded 
side of the hill, under Conical Peak, and west of the lake, 
by a watercourse, through tall trees, and got on board at 
five p.m. 

Monday, October yd. — Gloomy and overcast morning. 
At 9. 15 a.m. I landed at the watercourse, shot a tree- 
sparrow, and the female of the teal I shot here the other 
day, and also a yellow-breasted fringilla. After pro- 
ceeding for some hundred yards through the dense woods 
and thickets, I missed my geological hammer from my 
shot-belt, in which I had fixed it, as I thought, securely, 
but the struggle through the bushes had dragged it out. 
I felt much mortified at this discovery, as it had been 
a favourite hammer of my old friend Dr. Fitton, for- 
merly President of the Geological Society, and who took 
the liveliest interest in the expedition, and told me, when 
he presented me with it, after cutting an inscription on 
its handle, that he had done most of his geological 
work with it. I began to retrace my steps at once, as 
nearly as I could guess, in the intricate maze of wood 
and shrub, with but the faintest hope of recovering it. 

S/tooi a Brace of Woodcock. 


On regaining the margin of the lake, however, I was 
fortunate enough to catch sight of the handle sticking 
up just above the level of the brushwood, and now secur- 
ing it more carefully, I shaped my course up the North 
Saddle, and through the wood, up the ridge to the 
Conical Peak, a remarkable-looking mass of greenstone, 
highly magnetic, and some half-hour's walk from the 
saddle. I descended near a deep narrow cleft or gully. 
On the west side several gullies were filled with snow, 
and a dense mist overspread the hills, accompanied by 
fine rain, so that I could with difficulty find my way 
along a precarious footing. 

At one p.m. I got a momentary glimpse of the north 
bay, through the drifting mist. Shot a small, dark- 
coloured Sylvia ; and amongst the underwood and beech- 
trees, when between the saddle and the lake, I met with 
a great prize, shooting a brace of woodcock, the first 
seen here ; the bird I flushed rose close at my feet. 
The rain continued till I got on board at 4.30 p.m, the 
trees showeiing down upon me their drippings as I strug- 
gled through them, drenching my specimens and myself 
to the skin. Captain Ross this evening pointed out to 
me the polarity of the many magnetic specimens of the 
greenstone rocks I had given to him. 

Tuesday, 4I/1. — The morning threatening and gloomy. 
At 1 1.30 a.m. I landed on an excursion up the high hill 
at the back of the observatory, the rival of Mount Kater 
in altitude. After passing over a ridge of deciduous 
beech-trees, stunted and straggling, I reached the summit 
of the peak by a crescentic ridge of snow, at 1.45 p.m. ; 
the sun shining forth through a break in the clouds, I 
had a finer prospect than from any of the other hills. 

Below me, to the eastward, St. Martin's Cove with the 
ships at anchor ; on the west side, a deep, broad- 
bottomed valley, clothed with grass, rushes, and under- 
wood — the latter chiefly of the deciduous beech ; be- 




w ' 1 





y^oya^fs of Discovery. 

yond which, on this side of Cape Spencer, St. Joachim's 
Cove, terminating in a fine white sandy beach, separated 
by a narrow neck of low land covered with underwood, 
rushes, and grass, and nearly a mile in breadth, from a 
deep bay running up on the opposite side of Cape 
Spencer, and terminating in a cove at the upper end, 
bearing a striking resemblance to St. Martin's Cove, 
the hills bounding it being high, and much the same 
in character of outline. At 2.30 p.m. I descended along 
a ridge which extends in a westerly direction towards 
Joachim's Bay, and dividing the valley into two portions, 
forming a slightly curved ridge in the centre. 

Reached the hill above Joachim's Cove at three p.m. 
Saw a pair of remarkable birds here, in size and appear- 
ance between the partridge and the quail. I shot one 
of them, and in my descent to the valley on my return, 
I flushed a woodcock from the rushes and underwood of 
dwarf beech, and after shooting it, had it not fallen on 
a white patch of snow, amidst the impervious thicket I 
might have lost it. I reached the West Saddle at 4.45 
p.m., descending along the margin of the snow patch, 
to the observatory. Saw an arbutus in bloom here, and 
g(jt on board at six p.m., well pleased with my day's 
sport, having obtained two rare and beautiful birds, a fine 
specimen of the perdix and the woodcock. 

Wednesday, ^th. — I gave to Captain Ross one of the 
woodcocks and some specimens of magnetic rocks, of 
great interest to him. I landed at eleven a.m. Went 
up Observatory Valley, found a whole line of trees blown 
down and uprooted here, by the late williwaw, sweeping 
down the valley with overwhelming force ; and got so 
entangled in the intricate matted thickets on the side of 
the ridge bounding the western valley in the south, 
consisting chiefly of beeches, six feet high, with their 
branches interlaced at the tops, that I was obliged to 
cross the valley to the opposite ridge, through patches of 

//■> rnt of A'd/c/s Peak. 



rush and underwood. I saw two more of the quail-like 
birds in the place where I first met with them yesterday. 
Descended nearly to the sandy cove, but a thick mist, 
with drizzling rain, accompanied by heavy gusts of windi 
arrested all further progress, and at 3.15 p.m. I returned, 
Hushing a woodcock, and hearing the voices of the natives, 
although I did not get sight of them ; and got on board 
at six p.m. 

Friday, 'jth. — One of the Fuegians, the youngest man, 
came down the valley to the observatory this afternoon, 
and made a fire in the wigwam, where he remained all 
night. I skinned eight birds to-day, and found the elytra 
or wing-cases of a small beetle in the stomach of the 

Monday, lof/i. — Very clear, sunny day. Landed at 
the rocks under Kater's Peak, and at nine a.m. started 
up the north face of the mountain, through thickets 
of evergreen beech, from twenty-five to thirty-five feel 
and upwards in height ; passed some deep gorges and 
fissures, about two-thirds up, found the first inaccessible ; 
tried to scale an intervening mass, but found it too 
steep, with no hold for either hands or feet to trust to. 
Descended round the point, and effected the ascent by 
a gorge to the west of it, and reached the summit at 
10.45 ''^•^- 'l^^'s '^ ^''°'" twelve to twenty feet higher 
than the point seen from the ship. It is composed of 
sienite of a lighter colour, from having a greater propor- 
tit)n of felspar than at the base, which contains more 

I had a fine view from the summit of the Capes Horn 
and Spencer. At 12.15 I descended on the souih-west 
side, over rugged ledges of rocks, followin<^ the ridge to 
Joachim's Cove, where it terminates in a steep wood- 
crested hill, having a perpendicular escarpment next the 
sea. Passed several large boulders of very fine-grained 
greenstone. On board at five p.m. 

I 2 

I '(lyas^rs of Discoicry. 

Tncsdn\\ will. — Laiulcd at niiu' a.m. Crossed over 
the \\ rst Saddle. Saw a greater luinibcr of small birds 
amongst the tree tops than 1 have observed before. I 
shot a wren and finch in Sandy Cove, and a black and 
white oyster-catcher. Had a shot at an owl. I noticed 
a wii^wam on the other side of the neck of land, but a 
heavy fall of snt)w, rain, and thick mist compelled mc to 
return at two p.m. On passinjj; by Sandy Cove I dis- 
covi-rid a wisj;wani embosomed in trees above the bank, 
haviuLj a mound in front covered with celery. Met with 
large boulders of granite in Sandy Cove. The air 
became very raw and cold in the latter part of the day. 
Got on board at 7.45 p.m. 

'. ii 





3' 3 


Excursion up to the summit of Cape Spencer — llird-shooting — Difticiilty 
with a native as to plunder— My diplomatic niancjeuvres— We leave 
the island. 

Wednesday, October \2tl1. — Morning cloudy and threat- 
ening rain. I landed at 8.45 a.m. amid a fall of snow. 
Going up Observatory Valley, saw many small birds, but 
limited to two or three species of the fringilla. Shot a 
thrush after I had crossed the West Saddle. The 
weather cleared up, and I followed the course of the 
Western Valley to Joachim's Cove, where I shot a poly- 
borus hawk. Crossed Sandy Cove, and at 11.30 a.m. I 
began the ascent of the ridge on the opposite side of the 
cove leading to Cape Spencer, to reach the summit of 
which was the object of to-day's excursion. First passed 
over a short scrub, mixed with brown grass and moss, 
and a few patches of dwarf beech. On gaining the 
rocky top of the ridge I continued along its sharp crest, 
having an almost perpendicular escarpment on the left, 
skirting the deep valley beneath, in which was a lake. 
This ledge had an undulating outline, rising in one part 
to a considerably elevated point, with corresponding 

The rock was granitic, very distinctly marked by 
divisional planes in the escarpment to the south, and 
dipping in that direction at an angle of 45". Enormous 
boulders lay scattered about in the wildest confusion the 
whole of the way to the base of Cape Spencer, where, at 






Voyages of Discovery. 


' yi 


12.50, I descended a saddle, or depression, three miles 
from Sandy Cove, at the head of Joachim's Bay ; many of 
the granite blocks were intersected by veins of a close- 
grained greenstone, from three inches to three feet in 
diameter. Here I could trace the recent impressions of 
the naked feet of the natives, where the soil was soft 
and plastic all along the ridge, and in an upward direc- 
tion towards the summit of the cape. At the before- 
named depression the actual ascent of the promontory 
constituting the cape commences, near two small pools 
in a peaty soil from this point. I reached the summit in 
twenty minutes, at 1.15 p.m., over an elastic moss, 
filling up the interstices between the fragments of rock, 
which are piled one upon another to the summit, 
approaching which, however, the vegetation entirely dis- 
appears, and you step over the bare rock, from one block 
to another, till the top of the ridge is attained, when a 
perfectly circular bowl, an extinct crater, in short, pre- 
sents itself, between 200 and 300 feet in depth, and 
upwards of a mile in circumference, the bottom of 
which is filled by a large lake, its greatest length being 
from north to south, coated at the time of my visit 
with ice on the northern side. From the margin of the 
lake to the upper rim of this evidently once submarine 
crater, the whole was formed of loose stones and frag- 
ments of rock, composed chiefly of sienite or greenstone, 
whilst the b *" the mountain is of granite, similar to 

the ridge fr .vnich it arises. 

The highest part of the rim is to the westward, along 
which I proceeded, following its narrow crest to the 
point o erhanging the sea to the south, about five 
minutes' walk from its highest part. I now found myself 
standing on — with one exception, the celebrated Horn 
itself, which stands out a few miles further south — the 
southernmost extremity of the vast continent of America, 
or rather, islands lying off it. 


Witness the Formation of a Willawaw. 


As no one from either of the ships had preceded me 
here, i emptied some shot from my belt on the rock I 
had seated myself upon, placing an anchor button from 
my jacket in the centre, as a memento of my visit. 

With the great southern ocean spread out before me 
the scene was one of unrivalled grandeur and sublimity, 
much enhanced by the cheering rays of a bright sun, 
which shone forth from a clear azure-blue sky, the day 
having cleared up charmingly fine. In the distant 
horizon to the south-west the Diego Ramirez rocks 
appeared like faint hummocks, and the western extremity 
of Hermite Island low but distinct, whilst Cape Horn 
stood boldly out to the south-east, breaking in upon the 
monotony of the vast expanse of waters. 

One of those squalls for which this region has become 
so celebr "d passed before my eyes, presenting a very 
singr' pearance as seen from the spot where I stood. 

It commenced as a light, white, vapoury cloud, the out- 
line of which was so well defined that it assumed all the 
appearance of an iceberg, for which I should most cer- 
tainly have taken it, had I not witnessed its beginning, 
and watched it through all its phases of development, 
and its effects upon the surface of the water beneath it 
in its transitions, as it very slowly moved in the direction 
of Cape Horn, which it doubled, not materially altering 
its form, that of an iceberg, a phantom one, it is true, 
and of thin, aerial aspect. 

Looking landward, too, there was no lack of incidents 
to render the day's excursion an impressive one. Lt-low 
me, in the valley beneath, the dusky forms of half a score 
of the Fuegians caught my eye at the distance of about a 
mile from me. They were winding along in single file- 
by one of their tracks from the rocky ledges skirting the 
bay, where doubtless they had been collecting limpets 
— their favourite food, and, as bread is with us, their staff 
of life — from the rocks along the shore. Notwithstanding 



Voyages of Discovery. 


my elevated position, and all but concealed by the rock's 
fragments grouped around me, I really think their keen, 
sharp eyes discovered me, for they came to a halt more 
than once, as if reconnoitring the spot on which I stood. 
The solitude and deathlike silence reigning around was 
only broken by the presence of a large polyborus hawk 
hovering immediately overhead, and a small warbler 
which flitted by me at the moment. 

At two p.m. I began the descent. Reached Sandy 
Cove at four p.m. Flushed a woodcock amongst some 
bushes, but missed it. Saw a vulture, and shot a small 
hawk I had not before seen on the beach. Crossed the 
West Saddle at 6.15 p.m.. Shot a thrush in the valley, 
and got on board at 7.15 p.m. Soon afterwards it came 
on thick with snow. 

This evening I volunteered to Captain Ross to be one 
of a party in a boating expedition to Cape Horn. The 
distance which I went over to-day must have exceeded 
twenty miles, as the summit of Cape Spencer cannot be 
less than nine or ten miles from the ship. On the 
following day two of the natives returned to their wigwam 
in the cove, and lighted a fire in it, and left again on 
Sunday, the i6th. On the following day, Monday, the 
17th, I again landed, on an excursion round the shores 
of the cove, returning on board at six p.m. 

Tuesday^ I'&th. — Was the most boisterous day we have 
as yet experienced here. The barometer fell nearly to 
28°, blowing in furious squalls or williwaws from the south- 
west, lashing the surface of the cove into sheets of spray 
and mist, accompanied at intervals by heavy falls of snow, 
which covered the hills to the very margin of the cove, 
with one mantle of white, so that I could not communi- 
cate with the shore. No boat could land ; and to-morrow 
is " term-day." 

Wednesday, 26th. — We have had a wholeweek of stormy 
weather, notwithstanding which I made excursions on 

ILxcursion lo Maxxvell Harbour 


shore both yesterday and the day before, but of no great 
interest. To-day I made one to Maxwell Harbour, 
starting at 9.45 a.m. I landed at the watereourse and 
crossed over the North Saddle and the flanks of 
Mount Forster, where ! met the surj^^eon of the Terror, who 
joined me in my excursion. At 1.45 p.m. we reached 
the ridge above Maxwell Harbour, passing a lake and 
over moorland ridges, and across a deep ravine. 

Maxwell Harbour is land-locked, formed by three 
islands — Hermite, Jerdan, and Saddle Islands, affording 
a safe and commodious anchorage for a number of ships, 
protected on the north by a long reef, and having the 
principal entrance from the eastward ; but there is also a 
narrow strait for boats from the southward. The shores 
are skirted by woods, having a preity appearance from 
the ridge above, on which we stood. The furious 
williwaw, accompanied by a pelting shower of hail, com- 
pelled us to seek shelter on the cover of a block of 
granite, of which the rocks here are composed, inter- 
mingled with greenstone. We returned across the moor- 
land, which is studded over with small lakes, at five p.m., 
in a hail and snow storm. Huge boulders of granite are 
strewed along the whole line of coast. I shot a fme 
specimen of the vulture flying over the tops of the 
cliffs above us, also a tringa, or sandpiper, a finch, a tree- 
sparrow, and a fringilla. The distance to Maxwell 
Harbour is about eight miles. Got on board at seven p.m. 

Friday^ 2%th. — Fine day. Employed on board skin- 
ning birds, eleven in all. Both captains left in the gig, on 
an excursion to Maxwell Harbour, and Captain Ross on 
his return gave me a penguin which I had never seen 
before, and on the following day another penguin, two 
dotteril, and the quail-like bird of the island. The gunner 
of the Terror found two woodcock's eggs in the wood to 
the right of the Observatory V^alley to-day. 

Tuesday ^November \st. — Being a very fine day, I landed 

;' \ 

'; i :'. 

. t i 


yoyages of Discovery. 

t ! 

i ■ 

319.30 a.m. by the watercourse for the purpose of paying 
a visit to the Fuegians at the North Bay, on the other side 
of the island, whose wigwam I had discovered when there 
last. My way at first lay along a deep watercourse, 
flanked by tall trees. Reached the top of the saddle at 
eleven a.m. ; shot three dark-coloured sylvia here. 
Descended on the opposite side, through the dense wood, 
to the valley running between Joachim's Cove and the 
North Bay, the recent impression of the feet of the natives 
directed towards the bay ; following up their footsteps led 
me through a thick wood, guided by a watercourse, till I 
emerged upon the rocky beach of the bay not far from 
the wigwam. I now shaped my course round by the 
western extreme of the bay, doubling the granitic and 
greenstone point, fringed with trees and underwood, in 
search of eggs ; the birds I met with were black-backed 
gulls, grey ducks, steamers, kelp geese, and an oyster- 
catcher or two. 

Repassing the wigwam on my return, as I anticipated, 
the Fuegians were at home. They at once came out to 
meet me ; one, advancing towards me, proved to be the 
young man with whom I had exchanged anchor buttons 
for a spear on the first day of my landing in the cove. I 
shook hands with them, and gave to each a copper nail 
or two, with an anchor button from my handy store, 
the uniform jacket, in reply to their ever-ready expression, 
" Yammer-skooner." When, soon after taking leave of 
them, I had got little more than 100 yards to the 
eastward of the hut, a kelp goose rose from the long 
brown grass on the bank above the shingly beach, and 
alighted on a rock just projecting above the sea within 
gunshot of the beach. The nest of which she had 
betrayed the site by rising from it, contained seven eggs, 
cosily laid in the soft down from her own breast, within a 
tuft of the long grass. 

Whilst I was in the act of stowing them away in my 

Successful Diplomacy with the Natives. 3 1 9 

haversack, the elder of the two natives came running 
towards me, so that my poaching on their domain had 
not escaped their sharp and vigilant eyes. But I had 
made up my mind not to easily part with a prize so valu- 
able to me ; therefore, on my friend " Copper-skin " 
beginning his " Yammer-skoonering," and, at the same 
time very significantly pointing to my haversack, and 
suiting the action to the word by going through the 
pantomime of sucking eggs, smacking his lips, and 
patting his stomach, I was left in no manner of doubt 
of his meaning and his wishes too ; also that he was 
fully aware of the nature of my find ; therefore I felt 
that all my powers of diplomacy would be put to the 
test to avoid a rupture with this unsophisticated savage, 
and its consequences, should I refuse to give up to him 
what he naturally, and doubtless justly enough too, 
considered the property of himself and tribe. 

Armed as I was, with a double-barrelled gun, active, 
and self-possessed, I could have no apprehensions for 
the result personally to myself, in the event of an attack 
from these two poor, naked savages, provided there were 
no others in ambush with their spears ; but at the same 
time I felt that if I gave them provocation to attack me, and 
that it happened, even in self-defence, one or both were 
injured or perhaps killed, I should never after pardon my- 
self. Such were the thoughts that made the rapid circuit 
of my brain, when the poor goose, still perched on the rock, 
caught my eye, and suggested the idea of a compromise, 
and I made signs to my competitor for the eggs to that 
effect. Frankly opening my haversack and showing him 
the eggs, and then pointing over the hills in the direction 
of the ship, I endeavoured to make him understand that 
they were needed on board, and pointing my gun at the 
goose, accompanied by significant signs, which these 
children of nature are very expert in the interpretation of 
from their keen instincts, left him in no doubt that the 

on > 


Voyjqes of Discovery, 


goose was to be the substitute for the eggs for his dinner ; 
and as a proof that I was right in this impression, I 
had no sooner levelled my gun to fire than he pushed 
me along by the shoulder nearer to the water's edge till I 
was ancle-deep in the surf, evidently for the purpose of 
getting me nearer to it to insure my killing it. It was 
rather a long shot, but the bird fell winged into the 

I made signs to him now to launch his canoe, lying 
at some distance on the beach, to retrieve it, and this 
suggestion of mine called forth an amount of cunning and 
observation really amusing in this poor, untutored Indian ; 
for, pointing at once in the direction of the wind, he then 
swept his hand round towards a curve in the coast-line 
on which it blew direct, and picking up a bit of seaweed 
from the shore, he shut his eyes and made a gesture, in 
imitation of the death struggle, and moving his jaws, as 
if in the act of mastication, implying by all this panto- 
mime that he knew as well as I did that the wind, being 
on the shore, would drift the bird into the curve of the 
beach lower dawn, and that he could then get it without 
the trouble of launching his canoe, when he would finish 
its existence and eat it for his dinner. 

All this being now amicably settled, he accompanied me 
as far as my course lay along the sea-shore, all the way 
goodnaturedly singing and admirably mimicking every 
word I said, whilst not a look or gesture escaped his 
prying gaze. We reached the point at right angles 
with the beach, when I was about to enter the thick woods 
through which my course lay in the direction of Mount 
Forster for the ships. Night approaching, and not deem- 
ing it desirable to have his companionship any further, I 
resorted to a dodge to shake him off, which succeeded. 
For, as I stepped from the shingly beach into the thicket, 
I stooped to cut a good-sized sapling from a clump, well 
aware that he would most assuredly follow suit, and 


'l\<<o of the A'atii'ix ionic on hoii-if. 32 1 

whilst he was intently ocnipiud sloopinij clown to rut 
his, I cinhracccl the opportunity of eittiiii; with him by 
^tjoodnatureilly slapping him on the shoulder with my 
hand, and bidding him good-night, which he repeated 
in tht? same tone of mimicry. I was soon lost to 
his sight in the labyrinth of the woods, keeping a 
watchful eyt! and ear, both ahead and astern of me, to 
guard against any surprise ; getting safely on board at 
seven p.m. 

Wednesday, 2nd. — Very fine day ; a bright sun shining 
in a clear, intensely blue sky. Last evening, as I was 
returning over the side of Mount Forster, between the lake 
and the opposite side, I shot a small, black creeper, ha\ ing 
a grey pate, in a deciduous beech bush, and which 1 
had never met with before, and one of the gallinaceous 
or quail-like birds allied to the tinamides of South 
America, and on the boggy ground saw four couple of 
upland geese, a vulture, and a swallow. 

This morning at 8.30 I landed upon my last excursion 
in the island. Shot two yellow-breasted fringilla in 
Observatory Valley ; crossed over the saddle into West 
Valley, through the underwood of beech, rushes, and 
grass, to the swampy ground, and a deep and rapid 
watercourse, to the rocky point of Joachim's Bay in 
search of eggs ; unsuccessful however. Shot a kelp goose, 
saw two or three pairs of black-and-white oyster-catchers, 
who, from their very clamorous manner, were doubtless 
breeding there. Searched the southern range of grass- 
covered hills for the quail-like bird, but in vain ; cut some 
walking-sticks in the valley, and got on board at 
7.30 p.m. 

Sunday, 6th. — Captain Ross to-day brought on board 
with him the two stranger natives 1 saw last evening. 
They walked about the decks dancing and singing and 
eating biscuit, seemingly quite happy. The captain 
gave them two small saws and some fish-hooks, and I 

vol.. I. Y 


. ! 





/ 'oviii^rs of Discovirv. 

tjavo tlinii a kiiift: and somr buttons, of which ihi-y aro 
cxccc'diiii^ly fond. One of iIkiu in re'turn look a liili't 
of beads from his head anil pri'senled nu; with it. I 
measured their heii^lits; oiu- stood five feet one ineh, and 
the other four feet ten inches, and they were the hest- 
h)okin_t( we liavi; seen. 'I'hey h-ft the cove tliis evening. 

Monday, "jtli. — At about seven a.m. we stood out of 
the cove, with a line fresh brei-ze ; and as we crossed the 
May of St, I'Vancis I took .1 sketch of the general outline 
of I lermile Isl.uul. At nine a.m. we doubled the Horn 
at about a league distant, and I saw the last of it at 
four p.m., a barque in sight at the time. 

Thursday, \oili. — I prescribed for Captain Ross, who 
was very unwell. On the following day wo sounded over 
Burwood's Shoals, the depths varying from twenty-six to 
eighty fathoms. Next day we passed Beauchene Island, 
the passage to the Falklands occupying a week. 

Along the east coast of Tierra del Fuego, from Cvl\)c 
ilorn, we found an undercurrent of very cold water 
coming from the south ; and subsequently crossed the 
line of equal temperature of the ocean throughout its 
entire depth in lat. 55° 48', and long. 54" 40' W. ; the 
thermometer standing at about 40" at the surface, and 
about 39° at the intermediate depths from the surface 
downwards ; also met with an easterly current running at 
the rate of twenty miles a day. 

.i^ ■:! .! 




.s ^ 



, I ■ 





Summary of Hermite Island — Geology— Ornithology — Botany. 

This pretty and picturesque island, named by the Dutch, 
I beheve, after one of their early navigators, lies about 
ten miles north-west of Cape Horn, is of irregular form, 
deeply indented by coves and bays on either side. Its 
shores are bold and steep, rising into peaks, such as 
Mount Kater, to 1742 feet above the sea. Its greatest 
length from east to west is twelve miles, and is situated 
in the lat. of 56° S., and long, of 67° W., the variation 
being 23° E. The rise and fall of tide in St. Martin's 
Cove is about eight feet ; its southern extremity. Cape 
Spencer, is next to the Horn, the southernmost point 
of the Americas. 

The geological structure is plutonic, consisting mainly 
of granites and greenstones, the latter varying in appear- 
ance with the relative proportions of hornblende and 
felspar, passing into syenite. These rocks occur in very 
irregular order, the granite, however, forms the basis, and 
breaking out at Joachim's Cove, forms the ridge between 
it and Cape Spencer, where it is capped by syenite, 
composing the crater-formed summit of the promontory. 
The granite again appears forming the low land between 
Maxwell Harbour and the North Bay, with large boulders 
of it piled along the beach. All the high peaks, such as 
Mounts Kater and Forster, are constituted entirely of 
various modifications of syenite and greenstone in which 

v 2 




Voyaocs of Discovery. 



small particles of pyrites are occasionally found dissemi- 
nated. Some masses of purely white quartz occur in 
and near Deep-water Bay. Huge blocks or boulders of 
granite, traversed in many instances with veins of green- 
stone from three inches to three feet in diameter, lie 
scattered in the wildest confusion along the ridge termi- 
nated by Cape Spencer. Near to South Head is a 
clo.-jC-grained quartzose cliff, traversed by a vertical 
greenstone dyke two feet in diameter, with a felspathic 

The vegetation is really abundant considering the 
bleak and stormy nature of the climate exposed to the 
violent squalls called " williwaws," which sweep over the 
hills from the westward in hurricane-like gusts, though 
sometimes lasting for only a few seconds. From the 
20th of September to the 7th of November, the period 
we passed in St. Martin's Cove, the weather was for the 
most part wet, either rain or snow, the prevailing winds 
being from the N.W. and S.W., the thermometer ranging 
from 30"^ to 56°, and the mean temperature taken from 
our daily observations, maximum and minimum, gave 
42'^ Fahr. ; northerly winds generally brought thick 
weather with drizzling rain. When a fine day occurred 
it was accompanied by an atmospheric clearness, the 
sun shining brightly in a sky of the intensest blue, pro- 
ducing an elasticity of feeling which rendered existence 
on such occasions simply delightful. 

The sides of the hills to within about 400 feet of their 
summits are clothed by dense woods of the two beeches^ 
the evergreen {Fagus Forsteri) and the deciduous 
{Fagus antarciica), frequently attaining a height of forty 
feet, and often having a remarkable parasite, " misiden- 
dron," naturally engrafted on its stems, of which I noticed 
two species. Fungi also sometimes formed globular- 
shaped excrescences of a hard woody fibre, having a 
wrinkled, reticulated suriace encircling one of the branches. 


Ilcriuitc Island Flora. 


of their 

of forty 



The ordinary size of the trunks ttf these trees was about 
one foot in diameter ; but trees were found upwards of 
ten feet in circumference. The deciduous beech was 
leafless at the time of our arrival, appearing amongst the 
bright-leaved evergreen-li'Ke large patches of brown on 
the sides of the hills and the upper portion of the valleys, 
giving a pleasing variety and tint to the landscape. It 
attains quite as large a size as the other kind, the stem 
is of a dark brown, mottled over like the common hazel. 
At the time of our departure its bright green leaves had 
fully unfolded themselves, giving one uniform tint to the 

The Winter's bark {Drimys Winteri) grows profusely 
amongst the beeches, like a laurel in aspect but more 
erect, the ordinary height being from six to seven or 
even twelve feet ; and now and then may be seen a good- 
sized tree, rivalling the beeches themselves in magnitude. 
The shrubs forming the underwood consisted chiefly of 
the holly-leaved barberry {Berbert's tlicifolia), which at 
the time of our visit was covered with clusters of bright 
orange-yellow flowers, the wood itself also having a deep 
yellow tint, with the bark encrusted over with lichens. 
It is a crooked, crawling bush as prickly as the bramble. 
One or two other species occur bearing red berries {Ber- 
herts parvifolia a.nd Arbutics rigi'do). The tussac grass 
was in bloom, growing on the north shore; and the celery 
{Apui/n graz'cole/is) was found growing on the mounds of 
shells in abundance in the vicinity of every wigwam, yet 
the natives did not appear to eat it. Scurvy grass (Car- 
dnniiiie hirsuta) was very generally met with along the 
watercourses, as was also the fascine of the Falklands. 

The south-western aspect of the hills, where exposed 
to the effects of the williwaws, are for the most part 
barren. The bottoms of the valleys are usually clothed 
with a tangled underwood of the dwarf beeches, inter- 
mingled with long grass and rushes. On the low boggy 



; i 


^ \ 


326 I oyagcs of Discovery. 

tracts the surface is studded over with tufts of a vividly 
green plant, forming discs of various magnitudes {dona- 
cen). Mosses and lichens flourish in the greatest 
profusion in the woods, beautifully embossing over the 
fallen trees in a state of decay, and in many spots 
forming fanciful and richly embossed arches. One or 
two very pretty species of ferns are met with, and a small 
creeping plant bearing a red berry. 

Birds are more numerous in species than in individuals ; 
there are two kinds of hawks, a polyborus, the turkey 
buzzard or carrion vulture, an owl, a thrush, three species 
of fringilla or finches, three warblers {sylvia), two 
creepers {certhia), a woodcock, and a remarkable quail- 
like bird, in appearance and habits allied to Tina- 
viidcs, two kinds of oyster-catchers, a dotterel, a tringa, 
a grey duck, a seal, a steamer-duck, a cormorant, a 
bittern, a black-backed gull, a gigantic petrel, a swallow, 
a burrowing petrel, a penguin, a few upland geese {Anser 
leucoptera), and the Antarctic goose, which frequents all 
the shores. In all perhaps about thirty- four species. 

Of mammalia an otter and a seal or two frequent the 
bays, and with a mouse complete the number met with. 
The shell-fish are limited chiefly to limpets and mussels. 
Of insects a pretty green beetle occurred amongst the 
moss. The birds, from their extreme shyness, are 
evidently much harassed by the natives, and their num- 
bers kept down by them. We met with about three 
families, numbering in all about eighteen natives on the 


— JPI 



Second visit to Falkland Islands— Berkeley Sound— Search for speci- 
mens—Birds and eggs - Summary. 

Mf I 

Sunday, November 13//;. — Beating up against a strong 
breeze for Port Louis in Berkeley Sound, where we 
anchored at 5.30 p.m. in our old place. On the follow- 
ing day the barque Governor Ilalkett, whaler, arrived, 
on her way from New South Wales to England, having 
amongst her passengers an old brother officer of mine, 
Thomas Gibson, on his return from Hobart Town, where 
he had taken out the Somersetshire, convict ship, a 
medical superintendent. He came on board to see me 
in our own boarding-boat, and accompanied me in m,y 
excursion to St. Salvador Bay, where I shot three brace 
and a half of snipe, and a dotterel, and he afterwards 
dined on board with me. We had not met for many 
years past, and consequently each had much to relate 
since we were fellow-passengers in the SandwicJi packet 
as supernumeraries for the West India Station, having 
both entered the service at the saine time in the year 

Tuesday, 15///. — Gibson beakfasted with me, and after- 
wards accompanied me on a shooting excursion to the 
head of the sound. Green Bank, and the Creek, and, 
returning on board, dined with me at the Creek Point. 
A steamer duck rose from a tuft of long brown grass, 
thus discovering her nest, from which I took seven eggs. 


/ 'oyagci of Discovery. 

\ !•! 



and on returning found anollicr nest with four eggs, which 
had been deserted. I shot an upland goose and gander 
at the lake, and another goose, a brace of snipe, a 
smaller goose, and a rabbit, at the Green Bank. An 
immense squadron of steamer ducks were swimming 
under the bank. We got on board at 5.30 p.m. 

Thursday^ \']th, — This evening I tried the effects of 
hydrocyanic acid on three penguins, to ascertain the 
speediest and most humane method of ending their 
existence. One dram of the diluted acid destroyed a 
bird in one minute and fifty seconds. I sent Captain 
Ross five brace of snipe. 

Monday, i\st — Made a shooting excursion to Uranie 
Bay. Shot one black-headed gull and four tern, and 
found some steamer's eggs. 

Tuesday, 22nd. — Fine day. Started at ten a.m. for 
St. Salvador Bay. Found a steamer's nest w'ith eggs, 
and just above high-water mark I found the first eggs of 
the black oyster-catcher, two in number, having a whitish 
ground, and speckled over with blackish-brown dots, 
lying on the bare shingle. The parent birds evinced 
great anxiety for them, crouching along the ground with 
outspread wings, uttering lamentable cries, and would 
not quit the spot. P'ollowing up the south arm, about 
half way along the beach, I picked up two more eggs, 
and soon afterwards came upon the nest of the black-and- 
white oyster-catcher, having also two eggs, but with 
larger blotches on an olive-coloured ground. They were 
deposited on some dry seaweed at high-water mark. I 
also found two tern's eggs laid in the same way in the 
shingle, a steamer's, with five eggs, and kelper's nests, 
one having five and the other four eggs. I found a 
dotterel's nest, with two eggs, prettily blotched with 
blackish-brown on an olive-green ground. They also 
were laid in a slight depression of the ground by the side 
of a gum-plant. The parent bird discovered them by 


Egg-hunting lixcursion. 


rising from her nest. I shot three brace of snipe, a 
rabbit, a kelp goose, two grey ducks — the hitter at one 
shot — and one tern. 

Gibson and the surgeon of the Terror, who had 
accompanied me in the excursion, dined on board with 
me, on our return at six p.m. H.M.S. Philomel a.rn\c6. 
here this morning at nine. 

Thursday, December \st. — At 9.30 a.m. the barque 
sailed with a fair wind, the master having come on board 
of us for his despatches. I was employed all diiy in 
skinning birds, and preserving eggs. 

]Vcdnesd(7y, 'jth. — Cold, raw, gloomy day, with drizzling 
rain. Landed at nine a.m. Crossed from the head of 
the sound to the south arm over the hills. Found two 
black oyster-catcher's nests, with one egg in each, 
sheltered by a small stone, a black-backed gull's with two 
eggs in a nest of seaweed under the cliff, just above high- 
water mark, I also found a kelper's with five eggs, but 
as they were in an advanced state of incubation, which I 
found out by placing one in water, I of course left 
them in their nest. Shot a rabbit and eiirht brace of 
snipe. I observed several snipe going through evolutions 
in the air, at a great height, soaring upwards for a con- 
siderable time, and then darting downwards, with a 
whirring sound, followed in the subsequent ascent by a 
shrill whistle or cackle, just as I have in my youth seen 
them do in the Norfolk marshes. I shot one out of a 
pair whilst thus going through its evolution. Returned 
on board between seven and eight p.m. 

Tuesday, i^/h. — Landed at ten a.m. on another egg- 
hunting excursion. Found two dotterels in a depression 
at the foot of a tuft of diddle-dee. When near the creek 
at Salvador I shot an upland goose out of a f^ock of six 
or seven. In a bay forming a fine, curved, sandy beach, 
several pairs of oyster-catchers of both kinds, with some 
tern and gulls, were hovering about. I found two tern's 

' l« 

h .i'' 





Voyages of Discovery. 


' t 

eggs in one nest, and one in another, also a black oyster- 
catcher's, having two eggs, and a black and white one's, 
with two eggs also. Here I witnessed a most remark- 
able instance of affection and devotion on the part of a 
pair of plovers Having picked up their young one, only 
covered with down, although it could run very fast, and 
putting it into my trout-basket I generally carry with me 
for putting plants and eggs in, the parent birds manifested 
an anxiety and pertinacity I never before met with, one 
of them fluttering in front of me, flapping its pinions, and 
convulsively throwing itself on its side, as if badly 
wounded, utterly reckless of its own safety, and making 
use of every device it could think of to attract my atten- 
tion. I could no longer resist such powerful pleading, 
and, to its delight, I permitted the young one to escape 
from my basket. I shot a pair of grey ducks at one 
shot, and got on board at 7.20 p.m. 

The Malouines, as they have been called, are said to 
have been first discovered by Amerigo Vespucci in the 
year 1502, and in the year 1700, Beauchene anchored 
off them, and Bougainville founded a settlement at Port 
Louis in 1764. 

The general aspect of the country is dreary, naked, 
and unprepossessing in the extreme, A monotonous, 
undulating moorland, consisting of peat-bogs, swamps, 
and rivulets, or tracts covered with yellowish-brown grass, 
relieved only by the central ranges of hills of grey quartz. 
Its geology is very simple, clay-slate and greywacke, 
passing into sandstone, and the latter again into quartz. 
The higher ridges being of quartz, and from which the 
so-called streams of stones descend, having the sound 
of running water between them, or rather beneath them, 
the clay-slate and sandstones containing abundant 
organic remains of spirifera, orthes, orthoceratites, and 
stems of encrinites, embedded in them, forming the 
lower tracts, and extending from the base of the hills. 

I to 

General Aspect of the Country 


which attain an elevation of from 600 to 1000 feet to the 
sea-shore, dipping at various angles, having a mean of 
45°, and of very irregular superposition. 

The vegetation is for the most part herbaceous. The 
valleys and ravines are filled with the fascine, a bush of 
the composite order, bearing a white blossom, attaining a 
height of only three or four feet, and much resembling a 
rosemary bush. The other most universally distributed 
plant is the diddle-dee, a heathlike-looking plant, grow- 
ing in large, spreading tufts, and bearing a red berry, 
about the size of the cranberry, on which the upland 
geese are fond of feeding, indeed almost exclusively in 
the months of April and May, rendering these birds 
delicious eating. The gum plant and the tussac grass 
attain a height of some six feet. 

The balsam bog {Bolax glebaria), belonging to the 
order umbellifera, forms hemispherical hillocks of every 
size, from that of a mushroom to a mass four to six 
feet in diameter, of a bright green colour, and giving a 
very peculiar character to the landscape, as it is thickly 
scattered over the hills. 

The birds are very similar to those of Hermite 
Island, but more numerous and not so shy. The snipe 
migrates from June to August, lays its eggs in September, 
and the young birds are strong on the wing in November 
and December. 


i!i i' 





1 •! -> 

Voyaocs of Piscovcry, 


:' ' r 

! :^\ 

Third attempt to reach the South Pole — Our farmyard of live stock — 
Our Cliristmas dinner-jjarty — Icehcrgs— ],(,iiis l*hiii|)pe Island — 
Taking possession of the Pyramidal Island — 'i'hirty-eight days in 
the paf k. 

Saturday, December i^jtli, 1842. — At 4.30 a.m. we hove 
short, and at 6.30 a.m. weighed from lilast Falkland, 
firing three guns, in acknowledgment of the same number 
we were saluted with from the shore. At ten a.m. we 
had cleared the sound under a press of canvas, all stud- 
ding-sails set, and going before a fine westerly breeze. 
The weather began very auspiciously for this our last 
voyage southwards, being the finest day, with a bright 
sun, that we have experienced of late. 

Our decks formed quite a farmyard. In the boat 
amidships five sheep were stowed away, the same 
number of wild pigs, with a litter of young ones. In 
the port waist were three calves, in the quarter-boat two 
turkeys and a goose ; and a sea-stock of tussac grass as 
food for them ; each quarter was festooned with dead 
rabbits, geese, seal, and snipe, with a quarter of beef 
and veal, and dried fish in every direction. Abaft the 
quarter-deck a wild colt was tethered. With this colt 
is associated an episode I much regret having to refer 
to here. Yesterday I was asked how I relished a beef- 
steak at breakfast, and my reply having been that 1 
thought it juicy and good, barring a somewhat saline 
impression it left on the palate, but that I had eaten 


V 1 


Firsf Icclnt'C sciii. 

» ■> ■> 

much worse, when, to my surprise and astonishment, I 
was told that I had been partaking of horse-flesh, and 
that a young colt had been thoughtlessly, to use a mild 
expression, shot, on the previous day, by a party from 
the midshipmen's berth. It appears that two of those 
beautiful wild creatures had been shot from the troop I 
had been so often in the habit of meeting with in my 
almost daily rambles, and a colt brought on board alive. 

Now there was nothing whatever that could in any 
way justify the taking the lives of these harmless, in- 
offensive creatures, and it is very sad to reflect that the 
happy life of freedom led by these noble animals in the 
wilds of naturt! should have been closed by so wanton an 
act of cruelty ; for we had an abundance — as I have only 
just stated — of both fresh be(,'f and a variety of game on 
board. I had, with my own gun, alone, contributed no 
less than four dozen upland geese, forty brace of snipe, 
two dozen rabbits, besides two dozen and a half of the 
Antarctic geese, and other edible birds, teal, plover, and 
giey ducks, without limit to our mess. 

Saturday, 24///. — In lat. 61° 23', long. 52° 19', we 
fell in with our first iceberg about nine a.m. I saw one 
on the weather beam, three or four miles distant ; and at 
noon another astern ; also passing some heavy pieces 
of ice. We have had westerly gales and boisterous 
weather. The birds acccimpanying us w^ere the wander- 
ing albatross, cape pigeon, blue petrel, ash-backed petrel, 
and a few stormy petrel following, as is their habit, in 
the wake of the ship. Last night we joassed within a 
few miles of the South Shetlands, but owing to the 
thick state of the weather did not see them. 

Sunday, 25///. — The morning was threatening, but 
cleared up a fine Christmas Day, the latitude at noon 
being 62° 14', long. 52" 5'. We had another heavy westerly 
gale last night, when the ship rolled so heavily, that I found 
a little pet of mine, a young oyster-catcher I had brought 

! 'If 



/ 'oyai^U's of /discovery. 


:,' f 

1.. I 



from the Falkl.inds with rm*, unable to stand on his legs, 
and panting and gasping for breath. Up to this time 
he had appeared lively, and ate ri'adily ; but now he 
only took a very small bit or two of food. lie lini^ered 
throu^j,di the day, his eyes gradually beeoming dimmer, 
and on my turning in at night, I found him out of his 
basket, dead on tin; deck. 

At three p.m. Captain Ross and the gentli'men from 
the berth dim-d with us in the gunroom, the president's 
chair falling to my lot on the occasion. Our Christmas 
dinner was really a sumptuous one for these regions, 
consisting of veal, calf's head, ti'al and snipe, tScc, with 
a liberal allowance of champagne ; and after a late supper 
I turned in at four a.m. Several bergs were seen during 
the day, and at eight p.m. the extremes of the pack bore 
from S.W. round to 1'], Saw the tirst white petrel to- 
day, and on the follow' ng day we got up the crow's-nest. 

Wcihiesihiy, 28///. — I counted no less than twenty 
bcTgs around the horizon, half a dozen of them very large 
ones. Several h;.d the appearance of having been cap- 
sized. Two large finner whales were blowing astern of us. 
Latitude at noon 62° 44', long. 53° 43'. About 6.30 p.m. 
I saw Louis Philippe Land, bearing S.W. by \V. to S. 
It appeared from the deck and ahead, a bank of misty 
clouds suspended over it, which rendered its outline, 
clad as it was in one dense wreath of snow, very in- 
distinct. About a league from its eastern extremity a 
snow-clad islet appeared, resembling a berg in the 
distant horizon. We were now really encompassed by 
bergs, some of them of huge magnitude, and in every 
direction around the horizon. 

As we ran along the land about eight p.m., it had the 
appearance of one vast continuous bank of snow, per- 
fectly smooth in outline as a snow-wreath, everywhere, 
save where it showed the action of the waves, at the 
margin of the sea, where bergs had been separated from 



' 0ti 

1 I' 

de of 

Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Lith. 

I"AGB 334— VOL. I. 

R. McCormick, R.N., del. 

< ; H&!asiJim'ia'jiaffii i ipmi«iiP av:: "li 

R. McCormick, R.N.. del. 

First, appearance of Louis Phillippe Land, like a vast bank of snow, surm 

TI»e starboard sjde of the land forming the Gulf of Erebus, having Crater-peak 

■— ■•■y:^..-..: 





■' ■ ■''■'.-nr*^ 




:v\' > 






surmounted by a peak 2,000 feet in altitude. 

,^^ ^ 

ited by a peak 2,000 feet in altitude. 







■ -•■■'^-.s 





;'"-»*ii»i ffi [ , ' i fe '- 



id with Penguin Rookery at its entrance. 

leak Island with Penguin Rookery at its entr:! 

. ..■«,!mm:<iM^;.,:S0i^^i:^0^^^^'^^'^^^- 


Vbcent Broolu, Day & Son, Lith. 

PAOB 334— VOL. I. 

\\x, ,h 




Pack'icc close and heavy. 

"^ '' z 

it. From the centre it gradually sloped down to a point, 
running out very low and long to either extremity of the 
island. In one bearing only could a particle of the land 
itself be seen, and that was at the hiirhest elevation of 
the ridge, appearing like two very small oval hummocks 
close together. 

As we neared the southern extremity, five black-look- 
ing, small, low islands formed a chain at various distances 
from the low point, and in the midst of a labyrinth of 
bergs ; some of these so darkly shaded as to be with 
difficulty distinguished from the islands themselves at a 
distance. We passed the last of them, distant some six 
or seven miles, about midnight. When I turned in, the 
highest part of the mainland I estimated at 2000 feet, 
and we passed within about three leagues of it. Many 
whales where spouting, and I noticed a seal on the top of a 
berg, also a chionis and a lestris. Penguins were cawing 
and quarking in all directions, sometimes jumping out of 
the water like skip-jacks, and moving along in a line or 
single file like that of fish. On one berg I noticed 
upwards of 100 collected on the summit. 

Thursday^ 2gtli. — Fogs and southerly winds, and a 
current setting N.N.W. half a mile an hour. Sounded 
in 162 fathoms, sand and small black stones. At six 
p.m. tacked close off the pack-edge, our progress in this 
quarter obstructed by it. About eight p.m. I saw a 
very long, large berg, its shadowy outline but just visible 
through the fog ahead ; passed it to port. Our wild colt 
died to-day, apparently from cold and confinement in a 
cramped space ; poor thing, so different from its life of 
freedom among its fellows ! A hard fate. 

Friday, 30///. — Pack close and heavy, extending from 
east to west ; tacking about off its edge observed several 
large bergs within it. At three p.m. we passed the six 
islands we saw on the 28th, the largest, bearing N.W., 
having a remarkable broad belt of snow down it. At 






; 1 


I, I 



I 'i'vaj^i's of Discovery, 

■■ :«;■■ ■ 

1 1 

I 1 

5.30 p.m. I saw th'j extremes of the land from North 
CajDe to south extreme, and a pyramidal-shaped island 
bore W. by S. Working to windward through lanes of 
water towards the land, blowing fresh ; the mainland in 
W.S.W., high, covered with snow, having only a few black 
promontories of rock peeping out near the coast-line, 
which was indented with two or three deep inlets filled 
with ice and snow ; lat. d';^ 36', long. 54° 33'. My pet 
dotterel died to-day. 

Saturday, 315/.-- Fine clear day. I took a sketch of 
t!;.' land : one portion had all the appearance of black 
lav. A streams in terraces singularly waved in outline to 
the ..-uthward, and having a small crater-formed hill. 
Here I'le fdack rock appeared conspicuously through the 
"lantle <■ !•. nv : a yellow blink indicated the trending 
of i,e let.'", ri '"r'/v way, apparently forming a deep bight. 
Sounded in 20 y uilhoms, green mud. Fine clear night : 
I sat up and saw the old year out and the new one in. 
Many whales about us. 

Sunday^ January isf, 1843.— We were not destined to 
cross the Antarctic Circle this New Year's Day, as on our 
preceding trips to the southward ; but found ourselves, 
by observations at noon, only in the lat. of 64° 14', long. 
55° 54'» ^^'•^'^ Louis Philippe Land on one side of us and 
closely packed ice on the other. Many of the hills to- 
day had the appearance of smoke issuing from them, 
probably caused by the ascent of light vapoury clouds 
or small particles of fine drift snow. The weather was 
delightful ; a bright sun shone forth in a clear blue sky, 
with scarcely a breath of wind, rendering the opening of 
water between the ice smooth as a lake. Large bla_k 
whales numerous. 

Three grey seals and three small penguins were 
caught. At 1 .30 p.m. I went on board the 7 error with 
Captain Ross, returning again In about an hour. We 
had all of us our New Year's Day's dinner in the cabin 




Ines of 
(and in 


ly pet 


Off Pyramidal Island, Levis Philippe L and. :i^2>'j 

with Captain Ross at four p.m., and broke up at mid- 
night. Ice close and heavy; saw an immensely long 
barrier berg, quite flat topped as a table, and exceeding 
five miles in length. The customary warm clothing was 
served out to the officers and ship's company. 

Monday, 2nd. — We got beset within the edge of the 
pack, and I walked over the surrounding ice for about a 
mile, as far as the western edge of the floe ; the surface 
soft and hummocky, sinking up to the knees in places. 
I saw a white, or albino, gigantic petrel, and caught a 
small penguin. At 3.30 p.m. a boat was lowered after 
we had cast off from the ice, and three of the larger 
kinds brought on board. 

Thursday, ^tli. — Quite a summer day, so mild and 
calm, with a bright sun. Standing in for the land, through 
lanes of open water, saw a great number of the large 
whales spouting. What a fine field this would afford for 
the whale ships. A flock of fifty or sixty white petrel 
soared to a great height to-day. We were off the en- 
trance to what appeared to be a large strait, running deep 
up, and having high bold land on the starboard side, and 
a bay filled with ice near its entrance. On the port side 
the land covered with snow sloped down to the upper 
extremity, where it seemed to cross rather than unite 
with the opposite side ; the breadth of the en.trance might 
be from four to five leagues. This strait separates Join- 
ville from Louis Philippe Land, off which lies a bold, 
black-looking island (Pyramidal Island, 2760 feet high), 
rising steeply from the sea, and terminating in a fine 
peak, having a well-marked crater-formed summit almost 
bare of snow. At its base a large colony of penguins 
had established their rookery. I took a sketch of the 
land, and at 6.15 p.m, I went up to the crow's-nest for 
the first time this season, to have a look at the top of the 
strait. It appeared to be pretty free from ice, and what 
few streams there were, fast setting out of it. It was a 

VOL. I. Z 

I I 

1 i: 


J' I 




VoyiV^es of Discovery. 




1 1 i I: 

I \ 

lovely evenini^ ; the sea smooth as a lake, scattered over 
with loose ice ; but all round the horizon the pack ap- 
peared close and heavy, the open water being only in- 
shore, a long chain of bergs extending along the coast 
to the northward. 

Friday, 6tli. — Fine day, at ten a.m., when about two 
miles from the Pyramidal Island at the entrance to the 
strait, both captains landed at the penguin rookery, 
and shortly afterwards a boat from each ship with a 
party of officers ; and they returned about noon, after 
hoisting the union jack and taking possession of the 

I never more keenly felt the effects of the narrow- 
minded policy existing in this expedition ; by which I 
mean the carrying out to the very letter the ordinary 
routine orders of the general service ; that is, that each 
ship should not be left without a medical officer on 
board ; although, as in the present instance, if any 
accident were to occur during the brief temporary ab- 
sence of the medical officer, a signal could be made from 
the ships, and his return ensured almost as soon as the 
recall was made. 

1 personally endeavoured to urge upon Captain Ross, 
making use of all the influence I might possess with him 
after so long a service together as ours had been, that 
this was an occasion when such an order might well be 
set aside for the benefit and good of the special service 
we were employed upon. I pointed out to him that such 
a fine opportunity might never occur again for examining 
the remarkable crateriform peak now in sight of us, with 
its surroundings, more especially the incubation of the 
rare birds now breeding there, and their eggs, so great a 
desideratum to the ornithologist; such as the Antarctic 
or great penguin, the chionis, the white petrel, and the 
new species of lestris of the south. I said, as it was 
Dr. Hooker's turn now to land, his time would be more 

I u 

(a^ T> --%4«u>a\<« 

Took a sketch of the /ion'::on all round the " Erebus. 


than taken up with the botanical researches ; and unless 
I had an opportunity of landing, all else would be neces- 
sarily lost to us. But unhappily my appeal failed in its 
object, and during the absence of the party I was left 
to glean all I could through the medium of the telescope 
from the deck of the ship. 

At eight p.m. the captain of the Terror came on board, 
and we all spent Twelfthnight in the cabin with Captain 
Ross; regaled with wine, grog, and the customary 
twelfth-cake. Working ship between the chain of bergs 
and land two miles to windward. 

Sunday, 8t/i. — Foggy, thick weather ; had to keep 
company with the Terror by means of fog-signals, firing 
muskets, with bells and gongs going. Between seven and 
eight p.m. we passed through a narrow channel between 
an immense berg and the floe-ice rapidly closing, towed 
by two of the boats ahead. I saw one of the large 
penguins on the floe walking away upright as a dart, in the 
most grave and grotesque manner, looking like an old 
monk going to mass, with a group of the smaller kind on 
the same piece of ice with him. We made fast to various 
large pieces of ice during the day, and one piece, having 
a quantity of dark mud on it, drifted close alongside of 
us ; and whilst we were watering the ship from it, in 
searching the layer of mud I discovered a fine specimen 
of silicious rock, of a bottle-green colour, very hard, 
ponderous, and close-grained — a large fragment. 

Friday, I'^th. — Fine day. Beating up for the land-ice, 
tacking about in open pools of water, surrounded on all 
sides by closely packed ice, or large bergs, the extreme 
of the land bearing W. by S., a bleak point running out 
horizontally from a black, bluff clifl^, showing its rugged 
sides through the mantle of snow and ice. This forenoon 
our surroundings were so striking and peculiar, that I took 
a very fanciful sketch of the horizon all round, making the 
ship the central object of a circle. 

Z 2 






I'oya^is of Discovery. 


'( 1 i 



.1 \ 



At 2.30 p.m. an umisually strong current drifted us to 
the eastward, upon the edge of the pack, where we made 
fast to a large floe, the most level and smooth piece we 
have as yet met with ; this drifted with us very near the 
large berg, having two caves in its side. The loose ice 
drifted down so rapidly with the force of the tide, that we 
were very soon beset, and had to warp along the edge of 
the floe till 5.30 p.m. before we got into open water. 
Saw a seal on the ice and another in the water. We left 
the Terror beset, about half a cable's length from us ; 
made sail and ran out into an open pool between two 
bergs to the W. N.W. Lost sight of the Terror^ concealed 
by the berg, from which she got clear about midnight. 

Saturday^ \\th, — The captain of the /Vr/'tf/' came on 
board. Poinding the ice so close and heavy to the south- 
ward, with the long chain of bergs, and no prospect of 
penetrating any further in that quarter, we bore up, and 
at 1.45 p.m. entered the pack with a fair wind and tide. 
We made but slow progress, however, warping and boring 
through the heavier portions, and running through the 
small pools of water. Saw several of the young of the 
large penguins swimming near the bows to-day, with a 
grey seal or two on the ice. At nine p.m. both ships 
became beset close to each other. 

Monday^ \6th. — Cloudy, and nearly a calm, closely 
beset with heavy ice all round. Four seals were killed 
near the ships. At 3.30 p.m. sounded in sixty fathoms, 
green mud ; two more seals killed. Saw several gigantic 
petrel on the ice. In the afternoon I went upon the 
floe with my gun, and shot a seal about a cable's length 
ahead of the ship: the ball went through his body under 
the left fore-flipper, and although he bled profusely he 
managed to wriggle himself into the water not twenty 
paces off, and not having a second ball in the other barrel 
1 tried to stop his way by firing a charge of small shot 
under his flipper, which was followed by a torrent of the 


Change of position outside the chain of ber^^s. 341 

crimson stream, so that he must have expin;d on his 
plunge into the water. The seal, unless shot through 
the brain or heart, is so tenacious of life, that if the 
water happens to be near it will generally manage to reach 
it before it breathes its last. I walked to the opposite 
side of the flioe and along the margin on the land side for 
about a mile, and on returning struck across it for the 
ships ; lost my powder-flask, and got on board at six p.m. 

After tea I took the same ramble again, and found 
my powder-flask. Observed one or two cracks in the floe, 
and along its margin, where fragments of ice were piled 
one upon another like blocks of stone in a wall, (he effect 
of pressure from former tides. The tide was now setting 
with great rapidity, the brash, small bits of ice, being 
carried along like a sluice between the floe and a berg. 
Soon after my return on board, the floe to which the ships 
were made fast suddenly parted into three pieces, and the 
canals formed by the breaking up rapidly widened. We 
drifted fast in shore, and to the northward. Night thick, 
with a fall of snow. 

Tuesday, ip/i. — Still drifting about amongst the floe- 
pieces of? the chain of bergs and the pack. I went upon 
the floe and caught two small penguins, knocking one 
down with a stick. At 3.30 p.m. we cast off, and made 
sail to the north-east. I saw about 100 penguins con- 
gregated together in-shore in a knot, and whilst I was 
watching them they marched off in single file, and dis- 
appeared amongst the hummocks. We drifted within 
two or three miles of the shore, passing an inlet, and, as 
we approached the point, opened Pyramidal Island. The 
very long berg also came in sight, and the only change 
in our position is that we are now outside instead of being 
inside the chain of bergs and the shore, as we were last 
week. The whales are very numerous in this locality. 

Sunday, 22//^'.— Hove-to most of the day in a pool of 
water. The whales very numerous again to-day ; and I 

I. 1/ 

1 .. 




^ — 



J 'ovifXi'-'' of Discovery, 



' rl* W 



witnessed this evenin|j; a singular habit of the birds 1 had 
never before noticed. A flock of about 100 Cape pt-tr.-l 
following the whales, hovered over their wake in the 
water, and the whale had no sooner risen to the sur'^"'" 
to blow than these birds pounced down in a body intc 
very jet of vapoury spray sent up by him in a broad 
column, when a momentary scramble commenced for 
somethini^ they obtained from the water, either small 
creatures discharged in the jet, or parasites attached to 
his skin ; or probably both, as in one instance I saw two 
birds alight on the whale's back, but from which they were 
almost as soon unshipped by his diving below the surface ; 
although only to come up again a few fathoms farther 
off for another blow, which the petrels anticipating, 
followed close in his wake, all ready for another scramble 
as he rose again above the surface of the deep. 

Wednesday, 2$th. — Saw Pyramidal Island. A .so' v 
lestris flew over the mast-head, glancing down c. 
deck with that keen, inquisitive look so peculiar to this 
most rapacious bird, and then instantly shaping his course 
for the land direct, was seen no more. I also saw a 
group of the small piebald whales, having a long, black, 
scimitar-shaped fin appearing high above the water. 

Friday, 27///. — Being a calm all day, the boat was 
employed towing the ship ahead, to keep her clear of 
the lee-ice, and I took advantage of this to obtain 
some specimens which I had hitherto not been able to 
do since we left England ; and between two and three p.m. 
I succeeded in shooting no less than six stormy petrel 
i^Procellaria pelagira) from the stern of the ship, and also 
a Cape petrel, all of which were picked up for me by the 
towing-boat during the first watch. I saw seven penguins 
soundly sleeping on the ice whilst resting on their breasts, 
and stretched out at full length, the head and beak both 
in a horizontal position. 

On skinning the six stormy petrel on the following day, 


Once more in the open Sea. 


I found all their breasts bare of feathers, a si^ii that they 
had been recently incubating'. Captain Ross hitnsi-lf, 
following my example, was employed to-day in shooting 
three or four from the stt.'rn. 

Monday^ ^^otli. — Fine day. I gave Captain Ross one 
of my own specimens of the stormy petrel. A boat was 
sent on board the Terror^ with orders that in the event 
of our separation she should, after the 7th of February, 
make the rendezvous on Weddell's track. 

Saturday, February i\th. — Weather overcast, with snow. 
About noon a heavy squall from the north-east indicated 
that we were in the vicinity of open water. Made sail, 
and bored the ship through the streams of ice, getting 
clear of the pack in the afternoon after some heavy 
thumping from the ice. Between five and six p.m. we 
were once more on the open ea, with a heavy swell 
setting from the north-east, after a detention of thirty- 
eight days, beset between the pack, the chain of bergs 
and the land, encountering baffling winds sometimes in 
our teeth. 

Friday, 10///. — When I went on deck after breakfast 
this morning I distinctly saw the pack margining the 
horizon to leeward, and apparently very close and heavy. 
In the afternoon a strong ice-blink was observable from 
S. by E. \ E. to E. i N. Weather gloomy. On the 
following day we passed through some loose ice off the 
pack, and close to a large berg. Overcast and gloomy 
weather, with snow. 

Sunday, \2th. — Gloomy weather, with snow; passing 
through much loose ice. We have had several blue 
petrel about the ship for the last few days. 



Voyages of Discovery. 


It ' r 

i , J 



Our highest latitude 71'' 30', and longitude 14° 51' 10"- We complete 
the circumnavigation of the globe and cross the circle— Deep-sea 
soundings— J^y avoiding Weddell's track we (liil to reach his 
latitude — liirds — The comet of 1843, 

Tuesday, i^f/i. — This day we attained the highest latitude 
during this season's voyage, being at noon in 65° 6', and 
crossed Weddell's homeward track (from 74° 15') in the 
long, of 41°, having a heavy pack to the southward, with 
a strong ice-blink all round from E. to W.S.W. ; sailing 
among loose ice off the pack, contending with a strong 
wind ; so that our prospects at this advanced period of 
the season are anything but promising. Weather over- 

JVcdnesday, i^^li- — Gloomy and overcast weather. 
Still passing through loose ice streaming off from the 
pack, with strong breezes and a long swell from the 
north-east. The ice here presents a vc^y altered appear- 
ance, evidently caused by the continued action of the 
waves on the slowly melting ice, the pieces of ice assum- 
ing every possible fantastic form, some in the shape of 
pedestals rising from a broad expanded blue tongue 
beneath the surface, and supporting a cupola, or table- 
topped summit, resembling vases or gigantic mushrooms, 
in others, flat slabs piled on each other at various angles. 
I saw two tern fly past the ship to-day ; and two large 
penguins were seen by the watch. 

Saturday, \S//i. — We this morning completed the 
circumnavigation of the globe in lal. 62' 39' and long. 

i ^s 

Cross I he Antarctic Circle. 


31° 44', dip 59° 1 1', and variation 7° 22'. Sailing through 
much loose ice off the pack-edge, a berg or two in sight, 
going three knots with a south-easterly wind, the course 
being E.N.E. ; thermometer 32°. 

Monday, 20th. — This day, now twenty years ago, 
Weddell reached his highest latitude, about seven degrees 
to the westward of the longitude we are in to-day. Yet 
we have met with a continuous line of pack since our 
departure from Louis Philippe Land. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — We crossed the line of no varia- 
tion at noon, being 0° 12' W., and lat. 61'' 37', long. 21° 
51', dip 57" 40'. 

Wednesday, March 1st. — We have at last crossed the 
Antarctic Circle, and for a third time on the first day of 
the month, although, unfortunately for us, not the same 
month as on our two preceding trips to the southward ; 
but two months later, and the season closing in just at 
the moment we have the prospect before us of a fine open 
sea, and perhaps, for all we know to the contrary, to the 
pole itself. Our lat. at noon was 67° 6', long. 8° 35', dip 
62° 42', and var. 8° 1 2'. Weather dry and bracing. 
Sketched two large bergs. 

Thursday, 2nd. — This has been by far the finest day 
that we have experienced since our departure from the 
Falklands : a clear blue, cloudless sky, with a bright sun, 
light winds, and a long swell. It is a curious fact that 
we have always met with the finest weather within the 
Antarctic Circle. At 7.25 p.m. we had most brilliant 
sunset, *he parting rays from the luminous sphere, as it 
appeared for a moment to roll along the waters ere it 
dipped beneath them, in a clear horizon, were dazzling, 
and reflected a singular bronzed kind of neutral tint on 
the light hazy clouds in the opposite horizon. 

Saw a tern and a sooty albatross or two, and a number 
of large whales sporting about, spouting up jets of vapour 
and spray to the height of from twelve to twenty feet. 



Voj'aovs of Discovery 

5 ! 


I '^ 

' I! 

•! : i 

i h ' 

luV, !' 

,> 1 



Friday, yd. — Both cutters were lowered at one p.m., 
and the two captains left their ships to superintend the 
deep soundings. After running out 4000 fathoms of line 
off the reel, which occupied an hour and fifty minutes, 
no bottom was obtained, and 250 fathoms of one inch 
and 3750 fathoms of three-quarter inch, with a pig of 
ballast were expended. The current ran 0° 3' per hour. 
Whilst the boats were away sounding I shot a blue petrel 
from the ship's deck, but it fell into the sea, drifted 
astern and was lost, which was vexatious, for this 1 believe 
is the first bird of the kind shot throughout the whole 
period of the expedition. They are never met with in 
the pack-ice. I saw several whales, but birds are very 

Saturday, ^th. — Gloomy day, but wind fair for the 
south ; yet we are shaping a south-westerly course to 
avoid the track of our enterprising predecessor Weddell. 
This prejudice on the part of the commander of the 
expedition is to be deplored, but from the first there 
has been a disposition not to follow in the track of 
others, which together with having already frittered 
away the best part of the season in the vain effort to 
force a passage between the perilous chain of stranded 
bergs and the broken land of Louis Philippe, mainly for 
the sake of a display of some new land of a trifling 
character on the chart, cost us the season, and 
ultimately proved fatal to our attaining even so high 
a latitude as that of Weddell himself: apart from 
the daily risk to the ships, knocking about for 
weeks together in narrow channels and pools of water, 
beset with strong currents, pent up between a chain 
of grounded bergs and a most dangerous coast. 
Indeed, I believe there were few on board either of the 
ships, if they candidly expressed an opinion, ever enter- 
tained the shadow of a hope that we could ever make 
our way further south through the inextricable difficulties 

Atiaiii our Jiighcst Latitude. 


of a course so ill-advlsedly adopted and so pertinaciously 
followed up in this our last attempt to reach the South 
Pole. I saw a solitary white petrel which had frequently 
flown past the ship during the day, a sure harbinger of ice 
not being far off. 

Sunday, ^iJi. — Upon going on deck after breakfast I 
saw the pack very distinctly margining the horizon to 
leeward on the starboard beam, apparently very heavy 
ice, having a very large berg lying off it. Weather over- 
cast and hazy, but through which a glance of the sun 
at noon enabled us to secure an observation, which gave 
the lat. 71° 10' S., being about Cook's farthest ; our 
long, was 15° 47', dip 65" 21', var. 2° 23'. We continued 
on with a fresh breeze from the north-east till four p.m., 
when we were again arrested by the pack-edge, passing 
through some heavy streams of ice off it, and by several 
large bergs. 

The season being so far advanced, the ensign was 
hoisted in each ship, and we bore up on our final 
departure frrom these regions of ice and snow, in which 
we have now passed three seasons. We had snow- 
showers during the day, the maximum temperature 32°, 
min. 29°; that of the sea 32° and 30°. Saw several 
white petrel and a large flock of blue ones swimming in 
the water. I also saw a Cape petrel or two, and a pair 
of brown and white ones. Our furthest south, when 
we bore up at four p.m., was 71° 30', and long. 14° 51' 
W. The pack extended from S.W. by W. round by 
S. to N.E. by E. A cask was thrown overboard con 
taining a paper with the latitude and longitude, signed 
by the captain and oflicers. I went on deck just as 
the ship tacked, to take a last look at the pack, which 
now appeared astern and on the starboard quarter. 

Monday, 6th. — Blowing a gale of wird in our teeth, 
with the pack in dangerous proximity to U^eward, and off 
which we wore ship at six p.m., distant a quarter of a 


I 'oyuqes of Discovery 

f . 


ii. <> 

! 1 

Mi 1 

I i 


mile. It extended from N.W. by W. to S.W. At 
4.10 p.m. again wore ship. 

Tuesday, ']th. — Last night, blowing hard, with a heavy 
sea running, which with the thick weather rendered our 
situation by no means a desirable one. Passed close to 
windward of a large berg, in the middle watch, it being 
difficult to make them out at any great distance. The 
headwind fell suddenly to a calm at midnight, and we 
wore ship. 

Friday, \otli. — The crow's-nest was got down to- 
day. Passed several large bergs ; strong breezes, going 
six and seven knots. About two p.m. I shot a Cape 
petrel, hovering over the weather quarter, when it fell 
dead aft, on the port side of the quarter-deck ; this 
indeed is the only bird I have shot within the Antarctic 
Circle this season, the latitude at the time being 68^ 
and long. 15" west. Several blue petrel about. I signed 
a paper this evening, to be thrown overboard in a cask, 
on our recrossing the circle. Between nine and ten p.m. 
I saw for the first time this voyage, the Aurora Australis, 
consisting of one rav only, of a pale yellow tint, rising 
from a bank of dark clouds in the west, to the altitude 
of about 20", at an angle of 40". Night starlight. Saw 
the Southern Cross. 

Saturday, wtlt. — At 6.30 a.m. crossed the Antarctic 
Circle for the last time, and the cask was thrown over- 
board with the signed paper, in long, 13'' 16' W. In 
the first watch about four bells, 1 had the first sight of 
the moon, or rather her rays, for she was concealed 
behind a dark cloud about 3° abovi' the horizon. 

Tuesday, \\th. — Cloudy, with a fine fair wind, going 
before it at the rate of five knots under a crowd of 
canvas, royals and studding-sails low and aloft. Bent a 
new main-sail and fore-sail. Passed an unusual number 
of bergs to-day, certainly not fi'wcr than half a hundred, 
large and small. 1 skctchi'd oni' 'im^; imposing-looking 


First appearance of the Comet of 1843. 349 

specimen which was seen twenty miles off; it was, I 
think, one of the highest we have ever met with, con- 
siderably over 200 feet in altitude, having two caverns in 
it, into which the surf was heavily breaking. As we 
passed within about a mile of it, on the port beam, I saw 
a large albatross [DioiuciUa cxulens), for the first time on 
this voyage. We have not met with many birds of late, 
only a few Cape and blue petrel, some sooty albatrosses, 
and a brown and white and ash-backed petrel or two. 

Friday, \']t/i. — Signed a paper with the latitudes and 
longitudes thrown overboard in a cask at noon. 

Alo/iday, 20th. — At noon exactly, we crossed the 
meridian of Greenwich ; lat. 54° 7', long, o', dip 55° 8', 
var. 1 7° 50' ; consequently our time is at this moment 
precisely the same with that of England. We are now 
steering a course to look out for Bouvette's Island. 

Tuesday, 21st. — Blowing a gale all day. Took a 
sketch of a large berg, when two miles on the starboard 
bow, as it towered high above the rolling surge. Between 
eight and nine p.m. I saw what appeared the other 
evening to have been a single pale ray of the aurora in 
the west, shooting upwards at an angle of about 45°, and 
at an altitude of about 30° on a clear and starlight night. 
This afterwards proved to be the remarkable comet of 
1843, with a tail extending from the horizon to near the 
zenith, and passed so near the sun as almost to graze 
its surface, and when at its perihelion, might be seen in 
broad daylight. From spectrum observations, comets 
would appear to be both self-luminous and to reflect the 
sun's light. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — Blowing a heavy gale all day, with 
overcast weather and snow. Having looked for Bou- 
vette's Island where it is laid down in the charts, without 
seeing anything of it, we shaped our course for the Cape 
of Good Hope. 

Thursday, 23^^.— Still blowing a gale of wind, with a 


Voyagrs of Discovery, 

; :\ 

U, ■ 


■ I 

I 'i' 

in • \ 

i \: 

heavy sea running. A lari^e berg appeared very in- 
distinctly through the mist, which I watched the approach 
of for upwards of an hour, till we passed it on the port 
side, or rather, weather bow ; a little before noon, a 
tremendous surf was breaking over it to windward. I 
sketched three different views of it. Two fine large 
albatrosses, and the elegant little stormy petrel were 
flying about the ship, with some Cape^ black, and also 
blue petrel, and a dusky albatross or two. Hove-to 
again at night. 

Friday^ 24///. — The gale abated last night ; fell in with 
the long stems of the Fucus gigantca seaweed, called 
after the naturalist of Duperrey's expedition, Lessonuc, or 
Macrocysti pyrifcni, and saw several sheerwater. Passed 
a berg on the starboard quarter, during the first watch. 

Saturday^ 25///. — Fine, with strong breezes, ship going 
nine knots. Passed a small berg, about half a mile to 
windward, in the forenoon : the last seen. At eight p.m. 
rounded-to for the night. 

Tuesday, 2S//1. — Very fine day. Ship hove-to, to get 
the temperature of the sea at 1200 fathoms, and at 
two p.m. a boat having been lowered and sent to the 
Terror I took the opportunity so afforded of going on 
board. Dined with the gunroom officers, and returned 
on board again at three p.m. I faintly saw the comet 
again to-day. 

Saturday, April \st. — The day was so fine and warm 
that I was induced to change my Antarctic rig for one 
more in keeping with the climate we are now in. On the 
following morning saw a barque, the first sail we have 
seen since we lelt the Falklands. 

t!' '■■ 




k^^ry in- 
le port 
[loon, a 
fard. I 
It." large 
|nd also 

in with 

, called 

nice, or 

P ^'oing 
mile to 
lit p.m. 

S to get 
and at 
: to the 
aing on 

1 warm 
or one 
On the 
t have 


Summary of the last voyage south— Astronomical observations— The 
vast barrier of ii c and tiie continent beyond. 

In this brief retrospect of our proceedings during our 
third and final attempt to reach the Antarctic Pole, I can 
only repeat my own conviction that our main want of 
success too evidently rested with the course we had been 
so unfortunate as to adopt, rather than follow in the 
wake of Weddell, who had, with the limited means at his 
disposal, attained the high latitude of 74°, with a fine, 
open sea, free of ice as far as the eye could reach in the 
horizon view, and had not the interests of his owners in 
his small vessels, ostensibly employed in the seal-fishery, 
hampered him with responsibility, he might probably 
have made even a much nearer approach to the pole. 
His meridian was 40°, ours 55° W., the meridian of 
Cape Horn, on which we made the attempt, along 
a very intricate navigation of the shores of that group 
of land called in the charts South Shetlands, barren 
islands and rocks flanked by tiers of huge icebergs 
aground, between which and this forbidding, desolate, 
iron-bound coast, rapid currents ran like a race through 
the narrow, and often tortuous, channels, with which, 
together with tempestuous gales, amid snowstorms, sleet, 
and fogs, both ships had to buffet for so many weeks, in 
the vain hope of forcing a passage through to a higher 
latitude, and the temptation offered for thus adding 


/ 'oyai^is of Discovery, 

If; ■■ '^ 


'i \' 

> ' 

!^l-? . 4 

r *ir 

perhaps some few new lands to the chart. But after all 
our efforts the short navij^able season closed upon us, 
and we were no nearer the pole than on the day on which 
we first made this ill-omened land. A hopeless attempt 
was at last made to i^et upon the track of Weddell, which, 
from the lateness of the season and unfavourable winds, 
was now so encumbered with vast drifting packs of ice, 
amid dense fogs and gales, that it barred our course, and 
precluded all chance of even attaining the latitude of our 
predecessor, and with no small difficulty that of Captain 
Cook in 71°, when we had to bear up and bid a final 
adieu to Antarctic lands, packs, bergs, and seas. 

Happily for us the attempt in our first voyage south 
was rewarded by the discovery of a mighty southern 
continent, dwarfing the quarters of the old world, and 
rivalling the new one in its stupendous magnitude and 
general aspect, capping the pole by lofty mountain 
ranges, sustaining altitudes varying from 5000 to 
upwards of 1 2,000 feet ; two magnificent volcanoes 
crowning all, arrayed in an armour of everlasting ice ; a 
glaciation as complete as ever occurred to the opposite 
hemisphere in ages past. The perpetual-snow line de- 
scends to the very beach. The constant presence of ice 
and snow keeps the thermometer at the freezing-point ; 
consequently no kind of vegetation exists, not even a 
seaweed on its barren shores ; and but for the animal 
life which animates the ocean, whales, seals, penguins, 
&c., and sea-birds winging their way through the air, or 
skimming the ice-embossed surface of the deep, all would 
be as desolate and silent as the tomb. 

It is even conceivable in such a state of things that 
the annual unceasing accumulation of ice and snow at 
the South Pole might, in the course of time, so affect 
the earth's centre of gravity, as to produce a change in its 
axis, with all its consequences. But nature, ever fertile 
in her resources, in compensation has caused the vast 

! ; 


' : 


A Barrier Berg five miles in ieiipi/i. 


barrier of ice, which everywhere ^irts the whole hue of 
coast, to separate and float off in the form of giant bergs, 
often miles in length. One of these barrier bergs we 
fell in with, of which I made a sketch, measured no less 
than five miles from one extremity to the other: the 
bergs frequently attain 200 feet and upwards in height 
above the sea. The vast body of water set in motion in 
the Southern Ocean by heavy gales beating on the face 
of the barrier, fractures and drifts away those islands of 
ice in countless numbers, to be, after long drifting about, 
dissolved in the warmer climes of lower latitudes, and 
added to the wide waste of waters. 

The sun being nearer the earth when over the southern 
hemisphere, the earth's velocity is increased, and the 
consequence is the sun is a week less time in this 
hemisphere than it is in the northern ; thus making the 
South Polar winter longer by a week than the North 
Folar one. A constant depression of the barometer pre- 
vails in the Antarctic seas to the amount of nearly an inch. 

The currents ran very strong amongst the rocks and 
islands forming Louis Philippe Land, as they did amongst 
the drift ice in the narrow channel separating Possession from the mainland of Victoria. Now the currents 
of the ocean are mainly under the influence of the winds ; 
about three-quarters of the globe is covered by the ocean. 
The equatorial current has a generally westerly course 
round the globe, subject to deflections as it crosses the 
Atlantic Ocean towards the South American continent, 
where it divides, one portion going south, the other into 
the Gulf of Mexico, coming out as the gulf-stream, the 
temperature, breadth, and extent of which I have given 
in another portion of this work. This warm surface- 
current of the ocean sets from the equatorial regions 
towards the poles, conveying heat from the tropics to 
the temperate and frigid zones, laving the shores of 
both Spitsbergen and Greenland. Counter cold under- 

VOL. I. -'^ ^ 




^ 'oviij^cs of Discovery. 

■ ■ ^ 





\ \ 

\xf:, . I 

'!^ ;: 

currents set froiii the poles to the equator, keepinij the 
bottom of the ocean httle above the freezing-point. 

Whilst on the subject of curn-nts, I may here observe 
that we crossed the circle of uniform temperature of the 
ocean at six different points during our voyage, in a mean 
latitudi' of 56" 14' S. ; this parallel of latitude forming 
a belt of a mt'an temperature throughout its depth of 
39°, whether the ti'uiperature at the surface be 78' or 30', 
all round the world. 

A remarkable fact associated with the ocean tem- 
piTature, is that forms of animal life; belonging to the 
Arctic seas have been dredgi'd up from the Antarctic 
Ocean at depths of 2000 fathoms, and may have passed 
from pole to pole through the tropics, without having 
been subjected to a greater variation of temperature than 
some five degrees or so. 

The greatest depth of soundings we obtained during 
the voyage was on the 3rd of June, 1843, in lat. 15° 3' S., 
and long. 23'^ 14' W., getting no bott(Mn with 4600 
fathoms of line (27,000 feet) run out. 

The trade-w'nds are caused by the rotation of the 
earth on its axis, which with the great altitude of the 
sun keeping up a higher temperature at the belt of the 
tropics than either north or south of the equator, is the 
cause also of the permanent north-easterly and south- 
easterly winds. 

The greatest height attained by waves in the Atlantic 
Ocean, according to Scoresby, would appear to be soint' 
forty-three feet ; whilst in the North Sea the highest 
probably fall short of twenty feet. The surface of the 
ocean at the equator is said to be four feet higher than 
at the poles — some i 2,000 miles apart. 

The great comet of 1843 was a remarkable incident in 
this voyage. Its first appearance was as a long ray of 
light some 50° degrees in length, which we at first mis- 
took for a ray of the Aurora Australis, the nucleus not 

Hlli,' the 

le of tliL" 

.'I mean 

[Icpth of 

or so\ 

an tcni- 
ij to the 
t passed 
: havinj^f 
ure than 

d during 

itii 4600 

n of the 
le of the 
It of the 
or, is the 
id south- 
be some 
,' highest 
e of the 
jher than 

cident in 
ng ray of 
irst mis- 
:leus not 

V'/w Great Conn/ of iSS:;. 


being visible above the horizon at the time. It has the 
smallest perihelion distance of all known comets, having 
all but grazed the sun, moving with a velocity of 366 
miles per second, at its nearest approach ; the centre of 
the comet being only 80,000 miles distant from the 
centre of the sun; and from surface to surface only some 
32,000 miles S(;parated the two bodies from each other. 
The tail has been said to extend to 150,000,000 of miles 
in length, and the breadth 3,300,000 miles. In fact it 
has been inferred that the tail extended beyond the 
distance at which the earth revolves round the sun, itself 
of such vast magnitude that it would admit the earth, 
moon's orbit, and all within its disc. 

Yet these distances, vast as they appear, sink into in- 
significance when we reflect that Sir John llerschel, with 
his twenty-foot reflector, enumerates no li;ss a number 
than 20,374,000 stars visible through his telescope, 
and of this entire number of stars thus seen, only about 
5000 arc visible to the naked eye throughout the heavens. 

At such inconceivable distances in the depths of space 
are the stars separated from us, that only a few, very 
few, indeed, have had their distances measured (such as 
61 Cygni and a Centauri — both double stars) with any 
reliable degree of accuracy. The former, a small star 
of the sixth magnitude, had been observed to be affected 
by a proper motion, or progressive regular displacement 
of 5" per annum, among the surrounding stars ; from which 
circumstance astronomers were under the impression that 
it was nearer to our system, and on being submitted 
to observation it gave the parallax of 0*348 by Bessel. 
The distance of the two stars of 61 Cygni subtends 
an angle, rendering it probable that the orbit is nearly 
circular, with a period of 500 years ; so that these two 
stars revolve round each other in an orbit far exceeding 
the dimensions of Neptune's round our sun. This star, 
6i Cygni, was the first measured star in the heavens 

A a 2 


J 'ovifi^i's of Discovery 



affording a parallax. Hut tlu; latter-named star, Alpha 
Ceiitaiiri, is the nearest of all the stars in the heavens to 
our system. It is a very brij^ht star of the first ma<j;nitu(lt; 
in the constellation of the Centaur, next to Sirius and 
Canopus in its brilliancy, having a proper motion of nearly 
4" per annum, and the parallax of o'cji^. The li^ht of 
Sirius is, however, four times that of a Centauri, but its 
parallax only o"23o. It moves through space at the; rate 
of fourteen miles a second, a Centauri thirteen miles 
a second, and 61 Cy^ni no less than forty miles a 
second. X^'.iJ^a, in the constt'llation of the Lyre, has the 
same velocity as a Centauri, thirteen miles a second. 
The planets, to keep them in their orbits, move throui^h 
space. Mercury at the rate of twenty-eight miles, and 
Neptune at only about four miles a second. 

In celestial measurements, the diameter of the earth 
(8000 miles) has been used as a base-line in determin- 
ing the distance of the moon to be 240,000 miles from 
the earth, or about sixty radii of our globe, taking its 
radius as the unit of measurement; thi' distance of the 
sun being obtained through the transits of Venus over 
its disc. But the distances of the stars are so great 
that another base-line has to be sought for, in the distance 
' of the ear'h from the sun in fact, to dt.-termine how 
manytinii : the sun's distance made up the distance of 
any particular star, the displacement of that star giving 
the parallax ; the radius of the earth's orbit taken as 
the unit. The results obtained place the neares' 
to us, in round numbers, some 200,000 timi -, ti 
distance fram the earth, or 200,000 time ... ot 

90,000,000 miles. 

The spectroscope has of late unfolded lo us much 
interesting information with reference to the pnysical 
constitution of the stars, and comets too, as well as their 
movements in space. In fact, it has opened out a wide 
field of research in th*.' future. Spectrum analysis brings 

Different Types of Stars or Suns, 


out those rainbow-tinted streaks, crossed by dark lines, 
where tints are missing from absorptive actif)n in the 
vapourous <ilin()S|)herc of the star of l)ri<^ht lines, sodium, 
ealcium, and so forth. The dark absor|)live lines of 
hydrogen vary in breadth and darkness, by some sup- 
posed to be eharacterisli(! of a hii^di temperature in the 
star or sun in proportion to their depth and blackness. 

\'ega and Sirius are types of the bluish-white stars ; 
Capella and Aldebaran of the yellowish-white, like our 
sun ; and Arcturus of the orange-yellow, or third type. 
Inferences have been drawn from these types as to the 
relative ages of each : the first type with Sirius, the 
younger ; the third with Arcturus, the oldest. 

Whilst on the subject of the heavens I cannot resist 
the temptation to allude to the wonderful discovery of 
the planet Neptune, by Leverrier and Adams, in the 
year 1846, through the perturbations of Uranus, the most 
distant planet of our system, having a mean distance 
from the sun of no less than 2,862,000,000 miles, being 
165 years in accomplishing its rcvolutiim. It is invisible 
to the naked eye, appearing through the telescope as a 
star of the eighth magnitude, having a velocity of above 
12,000 miles an hour ; of far greater magnitude than the 
earth, being the third in .size of the planets; and what 
is most remarkable, its satellite, and those of Uranus, 
it has been stated, have a retrograde movement, and 
not from west to east as other satellites and planets. 
The newly-discovered moons of Mars, Deimas and 
Phobos, move around their planet from west to east, as 
our own moon does round the earth. The Uranian year 
is eighty-ftmr of ours. Olbers supposed that the nume- 
rous asteroids which have been discovered were frag- 
ments of a large planet. 

In my remarks upon the magnificent comet of 1843 
I omitted stating that its orbit would appear to be 
Identified with that of several others observed in the 







I 'ojdors of Discovery 

\\\ !!1* 

V >i 


i-'; '!> 

past. If so its periods of return would be rendered un- 
certain, and considered shorter than at first. A period 
of twenty-one years, and even much less than that, has 
been assigned to it. Only one other comet in the pre- 
sent century exceeded this in brilliancy and beauty, 
that was the great comet of the year 1811, the head 
of which was 112,000 miles in diameter, and that of 
the bright nucleus some 400 miles. The tail extended 
over a space of 1 i 2,000,000 miles. Its period of revo- 
lution occupied no less than 3000 years. This comet was 
never less than 100,000,000 miles from us or the sun. 
I can well remember its brilliant aspect lighting up the 
northern heavens, being at the time eleven years of age, 
and that year more deeply impressed on my memory as 
an eventful one, by the loss of my father on the Christ- 
mas Eve, in the sad shipwreck of H.M.S. Defence, off 
the coast of Jutland. 

Halley's comet, occupying seventy-six years in its 
revolution, extends beyond the orbit of Neptune, which 
planet is thirty times the distance of the earth from the 
sun, and the earth's orbit has a diameter of 24,000 
diameters of the earth itself ; and although the sun has a 
diameter of 882,000 miles, yet were it removed to the 
distance of the nearest fixed star, our sun would appear 
only as a star of the second magnitude, shining like 
the Pole Star, or the stars in the constellation of the 
Great Bear. It is situated in the angle formed where 
the two branches of the Milky Way separate, moving 
through space at the rate of four miles a second, whilst 
that highly coloured star Arcturus rushes through space 
at the wonderful speed of fifty-four miles in the same 
space of time. The Pole Star moves at the rate of 
one anrl a half miles in a second only, the earth's velocity 
being nineteen miles a second. The companion of Sirius, 
a minute star, is forty-seven times the distance of the 
sun from the earth. The small star, Alcor, in the tail of 


iiH I 


1 ; 

A^HUibcr of Stars in the Heavens. 


the Great Bear, and so named by the Arabs, is increasing 
in brightness, and the circuhir contour of the constella- 
tion of Hercules is said to be' enlarging from year to 
year. In the constellation of Taurus the six stars are 
double ; the finest, Halcyone, is only of the third mag- 
nitude. The sev^enth star of the Pleiades is said to 
have disappeared at the capture of Troy. The Milky Way 
is a conglomeration of stars, too faint to be separately 
discerned. In the language of the North-American 
Indians it is called the "road of the souls ;" and by the 
Chinese, the " celestial river." Aristotle's notion of the 
Milky Way was, that it resembled a large comet constantly 
reproducing itself. 

Our earth having a surface of some 200,000,000 square 
miles, is indeed the merest point in a universe un- 
folding to our view 1,000,000,000 stars or suns, as 
seen through the largest telescopes, in every part 
of the celestial sphere. If suddenly forced from its 
orbit, it would in little more than two months fall 
into the body of the sun. Our sun is supposed to 
be in the first or glowing vaporous stage of planet life, 
Jupiter in the second stage, and the earth in the third or 
life stage, whilst the moon has reached the last or final 
stage of decrepitude and death. Those meteor systems, 
about 100 of which arc; encountered by our earth, have 
been associated with the tails of comets : the Novem- 
ber display calh-d the Leonides, and the August ones, 
the Persides. 

The great comet of 1 843 has been said to have been 
associated with a train of meteors, and that its near 
approach to the sun's corona has caused a retardation 
of its velocity to such an extent as to hasten its return 
long before the period it should become due ; and it may, 
consequently, be looked for again before the conclusion 
of the present century, when in passing round the sun 
its perihelion distance will be lessened. 


Voyages of Discovery. 



I u 

i> ;■ 

1 S, 

% \ 

\v\ :■ '■ 


Simon's Bay — Excursion to Cape Point — Stellcnboscli— St. Helena — 
Ascend Ladder Hill — Fairyland. 

I NOW resume the narrative of my travels. 

Tuesday, April \th. — Fine day ; upon j^oing on deck 
after breakfast, I saw Table Mountain and Cape Point. 
Volumes of smoke were ascending; above Simon's Town, 
from the burning of the bush on the hills beyond. We 
had to work up False Bay, with strong breeze and 
squally weather. 

At 3.30 p.m., exchanged numbers with the flag-ship. 
H.M.S. Winchester, and about four p.m. a pilot-boat 
came alongside. A considerable surf was breaking on 
the Bellows Rock, about two miles from Cape Point. At 
6.30 p.m. a blue-light was burnt by the flag-ship, and at 
7.15 another, which we answered ; and soon afterwards a 
lieutenant from the Winchester board(?d us. At 7.30 p.m. 
we came to an anchor in ten fathoms, outside of the 
flag-ship ; and both captains waited on the admiral, the 
Hon. Josceline Percy, this evening. 

Jl'edncsdoy, ^th. — Fine, warm, enjoyable, sunny day. 
Moored ship ; only a whaler in the bay. At three p.m. 
I landed at the eastern point, beyond the fort. After 
walking through the town, and to some stores, I returned 
on board at 5.15 p.m. 

Saturiiny, 8///. --The admiral and his family paid a visit 
to both ships ; thi^y remained on board of us about an 


Fm'tiicy PecISs, seven miles from Simon^s Town. 361 

Wednesday, \2tl1. — I started at 7.15 a.m. from the 
fort, where I landed, on an excursion to Cape Point : the 
day very warm, notwithstanding a strong breeze. I first 
followed a track over the hills, overhanging the sea, and 
through a gap in the mountains, to a Dutch farmer's 
house in the valley beyond. On ascending a ridge 
having a rocking-stone poised on it, I had a fine view of 
Cape Point to the left, and Cape of Good Hope to the 
right. Here I put up a covey of partridges, which 
alighted again in a valley beyond, amongst underwood 
and fragments of rock. I flushed them again and shot 
one, which I bagged, after having had some difficulty 
in finding it, as it flew above 100 yards before it fell. 
Reached a spot midway between Cape Point and the 
Cape at 12.45, returning by a different route to Simon's 
Town at 5.30 p.m., walking thirty miles there and back. 
Hills, granite base, sandstone summits. 

Monday, \^th. — I landed at six a.m., and. mounting a 
horse from Ke!tley's stables, started from Anderson's 
Store by the turnpike-gate. The morning cloudy but 
fine. I had no little difficulty in getting my steed to go 
ahead, so accustomed was he, according to the hostler's 
account, to go over the red hill with shooting parties ; 
however this might be, I certainly never rode a more 
stubborn, intractable beast. I rode round Eloges Bay, 
Vish-hook Bay, and Kalk Bay, thence round Muizen- 
berg, to Farmer Peck's, about seven miles from Simon's 
Town. I alighted at 8.30 a.m., and just afterwards the 
marine officer of the Wiiiehestcr rode up, and we break- 
fasted together, l^irmer Peck has let his inn for 61. per 
month, and now resides in the house between it and the 
toll-bar. We called on him whilst our breakfast was 
getting ready, and after this repast of eggs and toast, 
tea and coffee, we remounted our horses at 9.30 a.m. 
and rode together as far as Maskill's half-way house to 
Cape Town, whither my fellow-traveller was bound. Here 

' i< 

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l^oyaocs of Discovery. 

we baited our horses, and had a i^lass of ale ; this house, 
which we reached in a hour, is fifteen miles from Simon's 

At 1 1. 1 5 a.m. I started by the cart-track to the right, 
just above the inn, and over the sandy flats, in the direc- 
tion of Siellenbosch. This sandy tract winds irregularly 
round to the left, but branches off, and is crossed by 
many others, rendering the true course somewhat em- 
barrassing to follow. About seven miles from the turn- 
pike-road the sandhills commence, which I reached at 
one p.m. The road here became heavy from the vast 
quantities of loose white sand, forming rugged hillocks, 
studded with bushes and rushes. I passed two or three 
huts inhabited by the Dutch Africanders, who could not 
speak a word of English. I had a cooling draught of 
water from one of them, and from a stone bottle sus- 
pended from the side of a wood cart, which I met on the 
way further on, so thirsty did the heat of these sands 
make me. Altogether I only passed a half-caste Afri- 
cander or two, with a waggon, and the Cape Town 
omnibus, with four horses, moving along at a good pace 
over the sands. 

About three p.m. Mr. Edwards, the Wesleyan mis- 
sionary of Stellenbosch, overtook my old and stubborn 
horse, I could hardly get beyond a drawling, walking 
pace, and we rode on together into the town. On pass- 
ing over a ridge, both False Bay and Simon's Town 
came in view. I flushed a covey of partridges near the 
roadside. Several white farmhouses, surrounded by their 
vineyards, were ^.' ittered on either side of the road, 
forming a pretty approach to the head of the valley in 
which .Stellenbosch is situated. A few miles to the 
right a long, narrow strip of wood, studded with white 
farms, indicated the position of th(3 Eerste Rivier. 
Passed through a small wooded dell by a rivulet just 
before Stellenbosch made its appearance. 


Meet Captain Cormack at Kinnibergs Hotel. 


The entrance is strikingly pretty and picturesque. 
The group of houses nestled at the head of the valley, 
bounded on either side by lofty mountains. The imme- 
diate approach is by a sort of lane, and then up the main 
street, which runs straight through an avenue of magni- 
ficent oaks, having a stream of water coursing down the 
centre. At six p.m. I alighted at Kinniberg's boarding and 
lodging-house, where my companion took leave of me, 
giving me his name and address, with an invitation to 
call on him. The day had cleared up very fine and 
warm. I must have travelled over a distance of not 
less than forty miles since my departure from Simon's 
Town. The landlord of the inn I found a hearty old 
veteran, who had formerly been a sergeant-major in the 
Horse Artillery, which corps it appears he entered in the 
year 1793, and has been a resident in this colony since 
1806 ; and the old man still prides himself on his horse- 
manship. I had a cold duck, a bottle of ale, and some 
Cape wine for dinner. The landlord introduced me to a 
Captain Cormack, of the Indian Army, who was staying 
in the house. When I turned in at eleven p.m. I 
heard the colonial girls in the house singing psalms. 

Tuesday, \%th. — Breakfast in company with Captain 
Cormack at eight a.m. Afterwards strolled through the 
village, the streets of which form fine roads through 
wide, shady avenues of lofty oaks, streams running 
through them, crossing each other at right angles. 
The houses are well built, and uniform in appearance, 
the doors and shutters of a green or mahogany colour, 
with the roofs thatched, a raised pavement some feet 
above the road in front of them. 

At 2.30 p.m. I called on Mr. Edwards. A young lady 
about sixteen or seventeen met me at the door, and 
ushered me into a room on the left, where she had been 
employed drawing flowers. And here Mr. Edwards him- 
self soon joined us, and followed by his wife, to whom he 





' 'I I 


f> i! i^ 



! ,2 


I 'oya^i^cs of Discovery. 

introduced me. Some willows in front of his residence 
give it a pretty, rural aspect. On my return to the inn at 
3.15 p.m., Captain Cormack, with two friends of his, and 
myself, mounted horses, and accompanied by two dogs. 
Quail and Grouse, rode up the valley above the village 
to the foot of the hills, partridge shooting ; but returned 
unsuccessful to our inn, where we dined on duck and 
green peas. 

Stellenbosch has the air of a retreat of peaceful seclu- 
sion, nestled in the lap of the mountains, amid venerable 
and picturesque oaks. I noticed several pretty girls 
tastefully dressed, stealing hasty glances at the passing 
strangers, from corners of doors and windows. The un- 
expected sight of strangers evidently occasioned a break 
in their monotonous surroundings. It is situated about 
twenty-five miles from Cape Town, and takes its name 
from a former governor, Simon Van der Stell, in 168 1. 
It contains about 250 houses, and 2162 inhabitants. 

Wednesday, \(^th. — Rose at six a.m. After a cup of 
coffee I started on my return at seven a.m. Captain 
Cormack and his friends accompanied me as far as the 
Erste Rivier, a distance of seven or eight miles, where I 
took my leave of them, near some white farms, and struck 
off along a track over a ridge and across the flats. Saw 
two herons rise from a paddock, and flushed a covey of 
partridges. Alighted from my horse, and after tying 
him, went in search of them, without success, losing an 
hour or two. On remounting, I had an opportunity of 
seeing the celebrated secretary-bird of the Cape, striding 
along, on his long, slender legs, amongst the bushes, 
about half a mile ahead of me, raising his wings as if 
in preparation for flight ; and fly he did before I could 
get within shot of him, but alighted again on a rising 
ground. I fired at him as he again rose ; it was a 
very long shot, but I have no doabt that I should ulti- 
mately have secured him had I had a more tractable 

M inn at 

[is, and 


I village 



3vey of 
- tying 

At Anchor ojf James Town, St. Helena. 365 

horse, or been entirely on foot. About sunset I gained 
tlie turnpike-road, and passed several of the bullock- 
waggons drawn by ten or twelve pairs of oxen. In passing 
round Muizenberg the surf rolled on the rocky beach in 
brilliant, luminous waves. The night starlight. I reached 
Simon's Town at 10.30 p.m. Slept at Green's " British 

Thursday, loth. — Having breakfasted at the inn, and 
called at the hospital to see how the gunner of the 
Terror was getting on there, under Shea, the surgeon, 
whom I saw, I called at Anderson's Store, and pur- 
chased an ostrich's egg, returning on board in the after- 
noon. At six p.m. I dined on board H.M.S. Winchester 
with the wardroom officers, and left at nine p.m. 

Wednesday, 16th. — Went on board the Samarang, 
arrived yesterday ; and on board the Acorn, of sixteen 
guns, to see her commander, John Adams, who had 
formerly been an old messmate of mine. Called after- 
wards on the surgeon of the flagship and his wife, at 
their residence on shore. 

Sunday, ^oth. — Fine day. We sailed at nine a.m. 
With the ship's head now towards England, we may 
fairly consider ourselves on the passage home, albeit, by 
a somewhat circuitous route. 

Saturday, Afay 13M. — At eight a.m. we anchored off 
James Town, St. Melena, after a fortnight's passage 
from the Cape, during which nothing worth recording 
occurred, and want of space, as my journal draws near 
its close, will not permit me giving further details. 

Monday, 15///.- Landed for the first time this fore- 
noon ; met my genial old messmate, Gulliver, on horse- 
back. I walked out to his pretty cottage, Brookhill, 
about four miles from James Town, and divided from the 
Tomb Valley by a ridge, embosomed in an amphitheatre 
of hills. Gulliver returned home about an hour after my 
arrival, and I dined and slept there. On the following 






I'oycTjjcs of Discovery 


m I 

day, TLK'sday, i6lh, showery weatlirr prevented our 
excursion to Fairyland, and at 4.20 p.m. I left for the 

JJ\'(hn'S(/(iv, 1 7///. 1 paid a visit to my friends the 
Gideons at Fairyland, and dined with the family. In 
my journey out at noon 1 ascended Ladder Mill in nine 
minutes without once stopping to rest. 

Saiiirdov, May 20///. — At 1,45 p.m. we i^ot under 
weii^h, with the wind at east ; a rainbow arched St. 
James's X'alley. At noon to-day I received some speci- 
mens of silk, of the national colours of France, taken 
from the llai^ waved over Napoleon's tomb, at the time 
of the removal of his remains fntm this island to Paris, 
and sent me as a mementt) from my fair friends at 
F'airyland, by whom the flag was made. 

I ), 

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for the 


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Jly. In 
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led St. 

, taken 
U' time 

:nds at 


Ascension Island — Up the (Ircen Mountain- Rio do Janeiro— Corvo^ 
Scilly Islands — Woolwich — The expedition i)aid otif. 

Thin'sday, 25///. — After breakfast, upon going on deck, 
I saw the island of Ascension for the first time ; it was 
right ahead, and distant about a degree. Appearing 
high and capped with clouds ; I took a sketch of it on 
nearing the highest part of the land. A flock of about 
a score of frigate pelicans flew off to the ship, and when 
hovering over the main-truck, I shot two, but had the 
vexation to lose both by their falling overboard, which 
was the more to be regretted as I have not hitherto 
been able to obtain a single specimen for the Govern- 
ment ornithological collection, of the P. Fregata, or 
man-of-war bird. 

We ran round a low point to North-west Bay, at the 
base of the Cross Hill, on which is a signal-station, and 
anchored at three p.m. No ships there. The health- 
officer, a surgeon in the navy, boarded us. 

Saturday, 27///. — Fine weather. Took a sketch of 
the island, which is of sub-aerial formation ; and at 1 1.30 
a.m. I landed. Visited the hospital with the surgeon, 
and also the turtle ponds, two in number, containing 
300 to 400 turtle — the largest weighing about 400 
pounds. Saw several of them floating with their backs 
above the surface ; returned on board between one and, 
two p.m., and sent a supply of medicines on shore for 
the use of the hospital. 



A ' 



VoyaQi's of Discovery, 

j>: y. 

! I 

lil ■ I 

i' 'I il'j. 

Sunday, 28///. — After divisions <incl clivinc service, I 
went on shore; called on the siirifeon of the hosj)ital, and 
at eleven a.m. started on an excursion up the Green Moun- 
tain : weather fine. Struck off across the scoria strewed 
flat, round to the right of Cross Hill, 870 feet in heij^ht, 
by a cart-road which led across a plain between it and 
the base of Green Mountain. Passed the two-mile stone 
on the right, and afterwards the tank, over rugged ledges 
of scoria to the base of the mountain, some four miles. 
The rocks consisting of scoriaceous lavas, studded here 
and there with straggling bushes of the castor-oil plant, 
presenting an excessively wild and barren aspect on this 
cindery island. Saw a goat, and perhaps 100 head of 
cattle. The only species of bird I met with was the wide- 
awake or egg-bird, a black-backed tern {Sterna fiilii^i- 
nosa), flying overhead, uttering a mewing sort of kitten-like 
cry. These birds breed in such numbers on one part of the 
island, as to gain for it thi- name of " Wide awake Fair." 
I saw two mountain butterflies, having a white spot on a 
dark-coloured wing, numbers of crickets, and a few cock- 
roaches. I ascended direct for the mountain-house up a 
zigzag road. The first higher form of vegetation I met 
with, was the aloe, now in seed. I passed the detachment 
barracks, and along a very pretty evergreen fence to 
the officers' quarters, a neat building. Here I partook 
of some biscuit and cheese and a glass of ale with the 

This spot, after ascending from the scorched-up, cin- 
dery soil below, appeared to break upon one all at once, 
like an oasis in the desert. Here is an excellent garden, 
ornamented with flowers of various hues, the house itself 
shaded in trees and shrubs. Amongst them the banana 
grew vigorously, a few pine-apples struggled for existence, 
and I noticed beds of carrots and leeks. Merely the w'ater 
falling as it does, drop by drop, from the rocks into a 
reservoir, I was told, proved sufficient to supply the wants 

Ai Anchor at Ascension. 


of the mountain-party. At the cxtrt niity of the garden is 
a tunnel eut through the hill, several hundred yards in 
extent. The view from this mountain-house is very fine, 
the smaller hills rising like cones from the surface of the 
plain-like expanse below: some of a reddish-brown colour, 
others grey ; and the mountain itself appears of a light- 
green tint : hence its name. The highest peak, at the 
mountain-house, is 2818 feet above the level of the sea. 

There are said to be guinea-fowl, but I did not see 
any. I arrived at the house at 12.45, '^"^ li-'ft it at 
1.30 p.m. by a somewhat different route for change. 
The peak soon afterwards became enveloped in mist, and 
a light shower or two fell. Reached George Town at 
3.30 p.m., and dined with the surgeon, Harvey Morris, 
my brolher-oflficer, in charge of the medical establish- 
ment here. We had turtle soup, and fin, pork, both 
boiled and roast (cold) ; kumeras and callaboas, with 
damson tart, ale, port, sherry, and claret. Walked round 
the hospital, and after tea I returned on board at eight 
p.m. Mrs. Morris is a daughter of the celebrated Dr. 
Clutterbuck, of London. 

Monday^ 29///. — At 8.50 a.m. we sailed from Ascen- 

Saturday, June yd. — Nearly a calm. Made deep- 
sea soundings, and it took somewhat more than two hours 
to run 4600 fathoms off the reel without reaching bottom, 
expending 600 fathoms one-inch and 4010 fathoms three- 
quarter-inch rope, with three cwt. of iron ballast. Current 
W. IS. 

Wednesday, ']th. — Upon going on deck at nine a.m. I 
saw the island of Trinidad very distinctly ahead, bearing 
S.S.W. Lat. at noon 20" 7', long. 2(f 12', dip 11° 22', 
var. 9° 20'. Sketched the land, and at 4.30 p.m. we 
bore up W.S.W. abreast of the Nine-pin Rock, about a 
league distant. Saw the beach where we landed three 
and a half years ago. Our remaining turtle was killed 

VOL. I. H b 



: ;( 





/ 'ojurj^i's of /discovery. 


.:' * 


this L'vcniii^, .'ind I preserved the shell and head, as it 
was a very larijc specimen, wei^hini; al least four owl. 

Fiidiiy, \()tli. — This inorniiii,' saw the revolving' li^ht 
on Cape Frio, on the h-e-beani. On the following; even- 
ing wc tacked within three or fonr leaj^ues of the 
Sugar-loaf, and stood off the land for the night. Saw 
the peak of the Corcovada, with black squalls passing 
over the land, and a dense nimbus suspended over the 
mountain-tops. After dark s.iw Raza light. 

Stindny, \S//i. — Hi'ating up all day for Kio de Janeiro 
Harbour, and anchored at 4.40 p.m. in five fathoms. 

This fine capacious harbour derived its name from the 
discoverer, De Sousa, having discovered it on the first day 
of January, 1531. I'he aborigines called the harbour 
Netherohy, or " Hidden WatiT," and the Sugar-loaf Moun- 
tain, Pao d'Azucer, which attains the height of 1000 feet ; 
the Corcovada Mountain, 2000 feet, and the Organ 
Mountains, 3200 feet. 

Monday, {gill. — At eleven I landed foi a stroll 
round the town. Called at Tross's, and lunched at 
" Pharoux's Motel." \'isited the fair in the campa, and 
the cathedral, returning on board at six p.m. 

Tuesday, 2oili. — Crossed over to the Braganza side in 
the steamer. Walked as far as the old fort and back 
again, and missed the packet twice. Saw numbers ^){ 
oranges growing in the gardens. Got back to Rio at 
3.30 p.m. 

W'cdiiesdav, 21. si. — Landed again at eleven a.m. Pine 
day. Walked over the hill to the passeo for about a 
mile, returning through the new market-place. Had a 
lunch of prawns and stout at Pharoux's, a capital large 
new hotel, at the corner of the Largo de Paro. Went 
to Madame Finot's, in the Rua d'Ovidor, and purchased 
a box of feather-flowers and one of insects. She 
had about thirty young creole girls seated at the 
farther end of the shop, making flower-wreaths with 



Sail from Rio yanciro. 


fi'.'illuTS ; and an interesting-looking youni^ damsel, 
whom she called Catherine, attended as interpreter, 
apparently of English extraction. I hoii^ht also a grey 
and a green parrot at different shops adjacent. 

Sunday, 2^1 li. — We sailed at 8.15 a.m. Rio is much 
improved in appearance since I was last there in 1832. 
A new landing-place, hotel, and market-place. The 
ISotanical Garden at lioto-Fogo is seven or eight mil(,'S 
from Rio. We had a remarkable line week of weather 
during our stay, and being St. John's week, the city was 
very lively with ringing of bells and fireworks and 
rockets at night. 

Monday, July \otli. — We have had the trade-winds 
for thi! last few days, and crossed the line this evening 
in about the twenty-sixth degree of longitude. 

Friday, \t\th. — This afternoon entered the variables 
with the wind from S.W. ; lat. 6° 39', long. 24° 23'. 

Tuesday, \8f/i. — We entered the north-east trades, 

and Saturday, 22nd, got the temperature of the deep sea 

at 1850 fathoms, the greatest depth yet, for temperature. 

Monday, 316/. — Fine day. Crossed the tropic this 


Monday, Augnst "jfli. — Employed in arranging and 

packing the Government collection of birds on deck; and 

sent into the cabin, in complianci; with the customary 

orders, all my diaries and sketches made during the 


Wednesday, gth. — Two dolphins caught. Had some 
for dinner, and found it very good eating. Employed 
arranging and packing the Government geological 

Wednesday, \6tJi. — The calms and light, variable airs 
for some days past have prevented us making the Azores, 
and being now in about the latitude of them, there is no 
chance of our touching at any of them as was intended. 
This evening for the first time saw the chart of Victoria 

B b 2 

•I '■■w 

:• , 


Voya^^cs of Discovery, 




? , 

Land, with the names of the olTicers of the expedition 
attached to it. 

Snturday, \gfh. — Flores and Corvo in sii^ht. At 
eleven a.m. passed between them. They are seven or 
eight leagues apart. We hove-to off Corvo, about a 
league from the land, for the island boats to bring us 
supplies; — two goats, th.rty-two fowls, eggs, milk, 
ch(\'se, potatoes, water-melons, onions, and heads ol 
Indian corn. I purchased four fancy baskets, made of 
red and white cane, for the small sum of two shillings 
and ninepence; fowls one shilling each, eggs one shilling 
per dozen. 

Corvo rises to about from 1200 to 1400 feet above the 
sea, presenting a mottled, dull, brownish-green aspect, the 
surface reticulated with the enclosures of maize and other 
produce. The cliffs appeared much rent in places by 
subterranean movements. The village consisted of some 
200 sombre-looking, lava-built huts, having tiled roofs. 
and thickly grouped together; having a white-coloured 
church, and belfry in the centre. At 1.30 p.m., on the 
Terror coming up, we made sail with a fresh breeze for 
Englaiid, nearly 1300 miles off. 

ll'ciliirsday, S'^ffi. — Between seven and eight a.m. we 
were boarded by a Scilly boat. St. Agnes lighthouse 
was seen from the deck this forenoon. At three p.m. we 
sounded in sixty-seven fathoms. In clear weather this 
light may be seen eighteen miles off. 

Saturday. September itid. — Very fine day, but with 
light, contrary airs. At nine a.m., upon going on deck, 
I saw the land of old Kngland again, after some four 
years' absence, extending along the weather, or port- 
beam : we were off the Bolt-tail coast of Devon, distant 
some four or five leagues. At the least a score of 
vessels in sight. After dinner a Cowes pilot-boat 
came alongside. Saw the Start light on the port- 

) ! 


Arrival at IVoohvich. 








. a 



Monday, \th. — At nine a.m. off Bexhill, with a fine 
view of Beechey Head, St. Leonard's, Hastings, &c. 
A lovely day ; the sea smooth as a lake, and studded 
over with countless vessels ; whilst the line of coast, dis- 
playing the rich, golden-yellow fields of corn, some in 
sheaf, some still standing, altogether gave animation to 
the scene. Saw the Dungeness, and both the Foreland 
lights, in the evening. 

At 1 1 . 1 5 p.m. we anchored in fifteen and a half fathoms 
off Hythe. Weighed again on the following morning, 
Tuesday, the 5th, and stood in for Folkestone, where 
Captain Ross landed at seven a.m., and proceeded by 
train to town. At 1.30 anchored off Walmer 
Castle, for the tide, and at 6.40 p.m. weighed again, and 
dropped anchor again in the first watch. But a breeze 
springing up, again weighed; and came to an anchor 
once more off the flat of the North Foreland. At 4.40 
worked through the Queen's Channel, and at 11.30 a.m. 
anchored in Pan-sand Hole. Saw the Reculvers, and 
my old station-house, Epple Bay, through the haze over 
the land. 

To-day my South American green parrot, an intelli- 
gent, lively creature, followed me into t e main-top, and 
down again by one of the ropes. 

Thursday, "jtli, 6.20 a.m. — We sailed up the Queen's 
Channel, and at one p.m. anchored off the Great Nore, 
and received orders to pay off at Woolwich. At 
2.20 p.m. we got once more under weigh, and finally let 
no our anchor there. 

- I] 




ji' ^,1 il 

1 1 


t; |: 








■^ • ■ "» i -ate ^ 

* ■ t. :■ ■ ■< , . . ,„. i" 


^^■v'.";; «■■':'**?»■: ■ft'-: ■■■><%^»:^-: " i!^. ,.^. |9^'^:-#-*;?l^'^'"'-"'^ 


oya Remarkable azure blue-lintcd berg seen on December 31st, 1842. 



K .1 

Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Liih. 

\ in 1843. 

A capsiited l>erg in Lat. 64" 12', long. 56° 10', seen in 184J. 


R. McCormick, R.N., deJ. 

First berg seen on first voyage south, in Lat. 63° 22', Long. 174°, distant i of a mile. 

: ^';'it^'>^,L'':i'^y 

.^>jr-j- . 


^^^s?«i' nil • / -^ ^4^^ 

'»-*ifc»"'f. • •■;aJC£aaj-,''';-. -f: . . ■■ ■ ■'-: -^^■'yl■Ar**il *BBMBBaaaBa^^J^i r.^^^■^f-v,■^::^ . J ., .'.-•.■. 



«;V 7-£N-;,JS," 

K McCormtck, K.N., del. 

'. . ^^< ''.^ .W^^^W^tPiT" 

Weatherworn berg, seen in second voyage south, in Lat. 65° 6', Long. 167° 39'. 

Cottage berg in 1841. 





4--4 >i II -l -ii 

First berg seen on second voyage south, distant I mile. 

Tower-shaped berg, seen on thircj 


:5!*^ft: :-~^s»i5^. 


Gable berg in 1842. 

Berg seen in 1843. 

Singular berg seen in 1843 in La 
beneath the Southci 







\ <t 





Tower-shaped berg, seen on third voyage south, in Lat. 6i° 23', Long. 52° 19'. 







Singular berg seen in 1843 in Lat. 67° 6', Long. 8° 35', 
beneath the Southern Cross. 

Large cavernous berg 200 feet high, i mile distant, s< 

Remarkable azure blue-tinted berg seen on December 31st, 1842. 


Vincent Brooks, Day SSL Son, Lith. 

et high, I mile distant, seen in 1843. 

A capsized berg in Lat. •4" 12', Long. 56° in', seen in 1843. 



: I 


\l. \ 

!! ! 


!i il 


m ' .' '^ 

wW !• ' 

I.ii 1 

1 : 













f I 

I V 

,i U 11 

t; if 

.f -Ik -i lUBd 


Little Tabic Island, Spitzbcrgcn, tlic northernmost land. (See paj^c 396.) 



IN THE YEAR 1827. 



Doparliire from the Nore— Arrival at Hammcrfest— Visit of the " Belle 
of Lapland " and her party to the Hixla — Ptarinigan-shooting— 
Magpies held sacred — Departure — Crow's-nest got up to fore- 
topgallant mast-head— First ice seen— Fall in with whalers— Sight 
Spitzbergen— Cloven Cliff- Fnter the pack in a gale— Red 
Beach— The attemjjt to start in the boats from the pack — Verlegen 
Hook — Highest latitude reached — Seven Islands. 

On Wednesday, the 4di of April, 1827, at four a.m., we 
weighed anchor from the Little Noi-e, the Cojuet steamer 
taking us in tow. At six a.m. sent her to Sheerness with 
thf ship's company's wives and families, and stood on our 
course, returning the steamer's cheers. At noon, when 
off Harwich, the steamer came up with us again, and took 
us in tow. At si.\ p.m. she finally parted company with 

































WEBSTER, NY. 14580 

(716) 872-4503 






Voyages of Discovery. 

us ofif Orfordness, with a hearty cheer, having discharged 
our pilot on board of her. At seven p.m. saw Lowestoft 
revolving light. Wind S.W., with cloudy weather and 
light breezes. 

Sunday, April Zth. — This forenoon Captain Parry 
performed divine service on the lower deck, taking his 
text from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, second 
chapter, and thirteenth verse. He afterwards read the 
articles of war on the quarter-deck. Wind W.S.W., and 
fresh breezes, with a moonlight night. 

Monday, ^th. — Struck topgallant masts, and close- 
reefed the top-sails, going before a strong gale of wind 
from the southward, with a heavy sea running, and dark, 
cloudy weather. 

Tuesday, loth. — Still blowing strong, with cloudy 
weather, accompanied by sleet and snow at intervals. 
The wind at noon N.W. Saw several fulmar petrel 
{Procellaria glacialis) for the first time ; and on the 
following day, Wednesday, the nth, two solan-geese 
{Sula alba) ?nd a great number of fulmar petrel in the 
wake of the ship. 

Thursday, \2tl1. — Last night we crossed the Arctic 
Circle ; and I saw a solitary duck. We killed our two 
oxen this morning. 

Friday, \ith. — Last evening all the officers assisted 
in working the ship. To-day we lighted the hot-air 
(Sylvestre's) stove for the first time since leaving England ; 
kept it lighted for twenty-four hours to air the ship, when 
the thermometer in the cabin rose to 50° Fahrenheit. 
Weather cloudy and squally, with a fresh breeze from 
the E.S.E. : a few fulmar petrel still following in the 
wake of the ship, but not in such numbers as before we 
entered within the Arctic Circle, 66° 32' N. latitude. 
Between ten and eleven p.m. saw the Aurora Borealis for 
the first time, shooting upwards from east to west, a 
brilliant display of the most^ beautiful coruscations, 



Sig/il the Laud of Lapland. 


changing appearance and position with the greatest 
rapidity ; at times darting upwards in a beautiful arch to 
the zenith, and finally dying away in faint coruscation. 
The night was fine and clear; the heavens brightly 
studded with stars, only slightly obscured now and then 
by a few passing light, fleecy clouds. 

Saturday, \^th. — Weather fine and clear, with light 
south-easterly winds. The officers to form the travelling- 
party have been living on their allowance of pemmican for 
the last four days, to test its effects on them, as it is to form 
their only diet of animal food whilst away in the boats. 
The pennant and union jack, made of blue, red, and 
white silk by Mrs. Parry, to be hoisted at the pole should 
the expedition be so far successful, were unfolded to-day 
on the quarter-deck. I had, when first nominated for the 
Hecla, volunteered myself to form one of the Polar party, 
but, unfortunately for me, Captain Parry had already 
promised to Mr. Charles Beverley, who had been a 
medical officer with him in a former expedition, that he 
should accompany him, in order to give him a stronger 
claim for reinstatement on the Navy List, from which his 
name had been removed on his refusal to take up an 
appointment to a ship when called upon to serve. 

Sunday, \^th. — Captain Parry performed the morning 
service. The weather extremely fine and clear, the sky 
being of the most intense azure blue, and unobscured 
by the smallest cloud ; the sea quite smooth, and of the 
deepest, darkest blue ; with light airs from E.S.E. Only 
three or four petrel following the ship to-day. 

Monday, \ttli. — The travelling-party were mustered on 
the quarter-deck to-day in their travelling-dresses, and 
the nature of the undertaking and allowance of provisions 
explained to them by Captain Parry. At one p.m. made 
the land ; and at six p.m. I saw it from the deck bearing 
S.E!. on the starboard bow. Weather extremely fine 
and clear, with light breezes from E.S.E. 


I; I 


Voyages of Discoveiy. 

Titesday, lyth. — Running along the land, with a fresh 
southerly breeze. The mountains appeared covered with 
snow. In the evening we were becalmed, when about 
ten miles from the land. Hoisted a jack at the fore-iop- 
gallant mast-head, and fired two guns for a pilot. Saw 
several ducks and gulls. 

Wednesday, 1S//1. — Beating up the fiord for the town 
of Hammerfest, with a moderate breeze from S.E. and 
cloudy weather. In the afternoon a boat came alongside 
with a pilot. Had the hot-air stove lighted again to-day 
to air the ship. 

Thursday, igth. — At three p.m. anchored off Hammer- 
fest ; and a boat left the ship with Lieutenant Crozier and 
one of the mates to bring some reindeer from Alten, 
intended for dragging the Polar boats over the ice. 
Letters were sent to Alten, to be forwarded from thence 
to England. Cloudy weather, with snow and fresh 
south-easterly breezes. 

Monday, 2T^rd. — The ship was dressed in flags, and 
a royal salute fired, in honour of the anniversary of the 
birthday of his Majesty. The boat returned from Alten ; 
and the travelling-party were sent on shore to try their 

Friday y 2'jth. — Received eight reindeer on board. 

Sunday, 29///. — At seven a.m., we got under weigh, but 
light winds and calms prevented us from getting clear 
of the land during the day. During our stay here we had 
visits on board from some of the principal inhabitants 
of this little out-of-the-way place, who were but just 
emerging from their winter's hibernation. They are often 
so blocked up with ice and snow, that during their long 
inclement winter season they have to dig themselves out. 
Their floors are strewed with rushes. I met most of the 
little community on board of a large Russian ship, at a 
party from the shore to which I had received an invita- 
tion. One of the young ladies present, of about twenty 




Visit of the " Beilc of Lapland " to the Ilccla. 38 1 

years of age, was very pretty and pleasing in her manners, 
and well deserved the title of the " Belle of Lapland." 
She lived with her mother, the widow, I believe, of a 
Russian merchant ; and when she came on board the 
Hecla with her friends to see the ship, she placed herself 
by the binnacle, and was very anxious to have our course 
to the Pole pointed out to her on the compass ; but owing 
to our not understanding each other's language, this was 
no easy matter. She was much amused with the chair 
constructed for lowering the ladies down the ship's side 
into the boat alongside, and it fell to my lot to have the 
honour of placing her in it when she left us. On the hills 
flanking the town there are ptarmigan called " Keepers ;" 
but I did not meet with any. The ascent of the steep 
hillside of the mountain range, covered with snow and 
ice, in pursuit of them, was of so very perilous a nature 
that one of our party, a young merchant of the place, 
who accompanied us as our guide, when about half- 
way up the mountain slipped, and after sliding down to 
within a few feet of a steep precipice, was only saved 
from destruction by the accumulation of the snow at his 
feet, and some rugged projection of the rock arresting his 
downward course. I shot a magpie near the huts before 
I was aware that the bird was held sacred here. I 
presented it to Captain Parry for his collection. 

Monday, 2,0th. — Land still in sight : the ship's company 
have been employed for the last three or four days pick- 
ing the moss brought on board for the reindeer's food, 
for they will only eat one kind, a white species {Cenomyce 
rangi/erina), and of this selected sort each reindeer will 
consume about four pounds daily. The coast here is of 
granite formation ; and we passed out of the fiord by 
the island of Soroe, the gneiss rocks, of which it and the 
adjacent islands are composed, had a cleavage inclining 
to S.W. The latitude of Hammerfest is in abuut 
70° 40' N. and longitude of 23° 45' E. ; the dip of the 





Voyages of Discovery. 


magnetic needle 77*^ 12' N.; the variation being 10° 14' 

Tuesday, May \si. — We are at last out of sight of 
land, with fresh northerly winds, cloudy weather, and 
snow at intervals. Lemon-juice was served out to the 
ship's company to-day for the first time since leaving 
Bingland. Several fulmar petrel following in the wake of 
the ship. 

Friday, 4///. — Still northerly winds, with snow, and 
squally weather. Pea-jackets were served out to-day 
both to officers and men. For the last few days we 
have been passing through water of a comparatively 
warm temperature, the sea-water reaching 40° when the 
temperature of the air was only 24" F"ahr., doubtless an 
offset of the Gulf-stream, which, laving the shore of 
Spitsbergen, tends much to moderate the degree of cold 
of its climate. 

Saturday ^th. — When in the latitude of 'j'^ 30' N., 
and longitude of 7° 30' E., we fell in with the first ice in 
detached fragments. The opaque white appearance it 
presents gives to Arctic ice a striking resemblance to loaf- 
sugar. Saw some kittiwakes {Lams iridaciylus), little 
auk {A lea alle), and ducks, with a number of fulmar petrel ; 
the latter bird, being so voracious, is very easily caught 
with a hook and line towed astern. As soon as one of 
these birds notices the bait floating on the water it 
swims cautiously towards it, looking at it apparently with 
something like suspicion ; but so soon as it observes its 
companions approaching, rather than they should secure 
it, it pounces at once upon the much-coveted morsel, 
swallowing hook and all. I -caught two of them in this 
way for the Government collection, but it is a cruel way 
of obtaining specimens, and not to be resorted to when 
they can be secured by shooting them. 

Sunday, 6ih. — Captain Parry performed divine ser- 
vice, and read the articles of war on the quarter-deck. 

" CroiJ's-AU'st " got up to Masthead to-day. 383 

To-day we had some Donkin's preserved vegetable soup 
served out for dinner, and found it excellent. Passed 
several pieces of floating ice, and an eider-duck alighted 
close alongsitle of the ship. 

Monday, 7///.-;- Fell in with large continuous streams 
of ice to-day of every variety of fantastic form and shape, 
tinted with the most beautiful azure blue near the surface 
of the water, and crested by the purest opaque white, like 
the top of a twelfth-cake. The helm required the greatest 
care and attention in steering the ship through the narrow 
lanes between the ice, pieces of which not infrequently 
came in collision with the bows, occasioning a smart 
shock. The crow's-nest was got up to the fore-top- 
gallant mast-head to-day. This is a circular box 
resembling a cask without the head, covered outside 
with canvas, having a seat inside, with a telescope for 
the use of the officer looking out for the lane of 
water presenting the best chance of getting the ship 

Tuesday, %th. — Snow at intervals. Fell in with the ice 
in much greater quantities to-day, extending ahead as far 
as the eye could reach from the fore-top. In addition to 
the fulmar petrel there were some ivory gulls {Lams 
eburnais), and several seals en the ice. Had scnie of 
Donkin's preserved meat and vegetables served out to- 
day, and both good. 

Wednesday, gth. — Fell in with two whalers this fore- 
noon, passing close to one of them, and sent a boat on 
board of her ; the other ship made fast to a piece of ice 
at some distance from us, and sent one of her boats 
alongside of us. They were both from Peterhead, and 
neither of them had been able to get any further north 
than where we found them. The ship made fast to the 
piece of ice was the Active, The year before hst, she 
having got aground in Davis's Strait, her crew deserted 
her and returned home. But on going out again in the 






Voyages of DiscoiTiy. 

following summer they found her in the same state in 
which they had left her, and brought her home. The 
ice was so closely packed to-day that we were compelled 
to make fast to a floe piece — a large flat piece of ice — by 
means of an ice-anchor. Saw the first flock of snow- 
buntings ; several little auk and ivory gulls were swim- 
ming amongst the ice. Weather thick and cloudy, 
snowing at intervals — as it has been since we left the 
coast of Finmark — with northerly winds. The evening 
cleared up fine, the sun shining brightly at ten p.m., 
when three more whalers hove in sight. We had the 
hot-air stove lighted this afternoon. 

Thursday ^ \oth. — Cast ofl" from the piece of ice last 
night. Had Sylvestre's stove lighted again to-day. A 
drift of sm.dl, fine snow continuously blowing over the 
surface of the ice. Eleven whalers in sight to-day, and 
in the forenoon four ships and a brig passed close to us 
in pursuit of a whale, whose appearance we had made 
known to them by signal. Captain Parry hailed them as 
they passed, and acquainted them with, the direction in 
which it had been seen. However, after tacking about 
in the numerous lanes of water amongst the ice for some 
time, and the search proving fruitless, they returned. 
Each ship had a garland suspended from the main-top- 
gallant stay, which it is a custom amongst the whalers to 
hoist on a certain day upon entering the Arctic Circle. 
Each ship had also a crow's-nest at the main-topgallant 
mast-head. Passed two or three narwhals, or .sea- 
unicorns {Mcncdon monoccros), sporting on the surface of 
the water, and saw several small flocks of dovekies (t/r/'a 
grylle), and looms, or foolish guillemots {Una brnnnichii), 
flying about the ice this evening. During the first watch 
we •' sallied " ship ; this consists in both officers and men 
running quickly from side to side of the ship, all starting 
at the same time, so as to make the ship roll, and so 
assist her in getting through the bay-ice. This fore- 

rirst Sights of Spitsbergen. 


noon a boat came alongside from one of the whale- 

Friday, nth. — The land of Spitzbergen was seen 
during the morning watch, but the weather has been so 
thick and hazy throughout the day that it has not been seen 
since. The thermometer having risen 1 2° since yesterday, 
the thaw has melted the snow on the decks. Several 
whalers have been seen during the day. Large Hocks of 
little auk, dovekies, and looms, swimming in the lanes of 
water between the ice, and sometimes they would dive 
on the approach of the ship, at others take wing, 
and alight again a short distance off, uttering shrill and 
confused murmuring, chattering notes, a few fulmar 
petrel following in the wake of the ship, as usual with 

Saturday, 1 2th. — Very thick and hazy, with sleet and 
fine snow at intervals. Wind southerly, much obstructed 
in our progress by the ice. Two of the whalers in com- 
pany. Town* Us evening the breeze died away to a calm, 
accompa'-ied by a thick fog. Saw innumerable flocks 
of little auk during the first watch. The ship having 
become nearly becalmed in a hole of water, Captain 
Parry allowed me to take the dingy, and pull about 
amongst the ice, to shoot some of them for the Govern- 
ment collection. But the fog increasing spoilt the sport ; 
and as I could scarcely see the ship a few yards off, with 
the risk of a breeze suddenly springing up and losing 
sight of her altogether, a musket was fired from the ship 
as a signal for the boat's recall, just before midnight. I 
shot two little auk at the first fire, two looms at the 
second, and at the third shot a fulmar petrel. 

Sunday, i^th. — This morning I saw the land of that 
most interesting island, Spitzbergen, for the first time, 
distant some seven or eight leagues, towering upwards 
in high and sharply peaked mountains, as its name 
implies. The angular symmetrical forms of these lofty 

VOL. I. c c 



Ihyagcs of Discovery. 

U ■ f 


snow-clad peaks gives a very picturesque aspect to the 
wliole coast-line; in hit. 79° N. The two boats which we 
have hitherto had on the quarter-deck were hoisted out 
to tow the ship, and afterwards hoisted up again before 
the gangways. Captain Parry performed divine service, 
and we went to divisions. This forenoon I went up to 
the crow's-nest to have a look at the land, we ha\ ing to- 
day got up a second one above the other, at the fore-top- 
gallant mast-head. Saw three whale-ships fast to a piece 
of ice. We were beset with ice during the forenoon. 
About noon we cast off from the piece of ice to which 
the ship had been made fast, and towards evening the sea 
became much more clear of ice. Saw a glaucous gull 
{Larus glaucus) for the first timt — a noble, dignified- 
looking bird, the largest of the gull tribe — with vast 
flocks of the little auk and looms. 

Monday, \^t/i. — Having early this morning passed 
Magdalena Bay, we this forenoon rounded Hakluyt's 
Headland to look for an anchorage in Smeerenburg 
Harbour, but which we found filled with the winter's ice, 
the floes being still unbroken, and we had consequently 
to make fast to the floe-edge, mid a southerly gale, and 
heavy gusts of wind coming down the ravines and high 
land above the harbour. Captain Parry himself went 
with the boat to lay out an anchor with hawsers, on the 
land ice, which was accomplished with great difficulty. 
But the gale increased so much in force, with the swell 
setting with so much fury on the floe-edge, where we 
had made our anchor fast, that this part of the floe gave 
way, and at ten p.m. the ship was adrift. 

Several reindeer were seen on the snow at the foot of 
the^mountain, which at first sight the boat's crew took 
for bears, whilst they were passing a hawser round the 
hummock of a floe. I saw a number of eider ducks, 
dovekies and gulls in the harbour ; also some walruses 
{Trichccus rosmarus). 



:t to the 
vhich we 
sted out 
n before 
: service, 
nt up to 
i\ ing to- 
a piece 
to which 
g the sea 
:ous gull 
'ith vast 

Iter's ice, 
a^ale, and 
ind high 
self went 
s, on the 
he swell 
/here we 
loe gave 

e foot o{ 
rew took 
)und the 
r ducks, 



«j s 








Enter the Pack in a Calc of Wind. 


Being compelled to stand out to sea — blowing so 
tremendously, in violent gusts of \\in<1, we had to furl all 
sail, save and except the main-topsail, close-reefed, and 
the storm-staysail — passing through some stream icu. 
Saw Cloven Cliff, off which a small iceberg was aground. 
A faint yellowish tint appeared in the horizon, known as 
the ice-blink, and indicating a considerable extent of ice 
in that direction. Passed several sea-horses, or walruses, 
and after some time spent in endeavours to weather the 
pack, at the imminent risk of dashing the ship to pieces 
against some of the larger and heavier masses, by being 
driven on them in the terrific squalls, which at times 
nearly threw her on her beam ends — drifting to leeward, 
and having to wear several times, between Vogel Sang 
and Cloven Cliff — we eventually had to seek shelter in 
the pack by entering the loosest part of the margin of it, 
under a press of sail about three a.m., and within an hour 
afterwards, found ourselves quiedy reposing half a mile 
or more within its confines. Whilst the gale was raging 
all round this sheltering haven of ice, but had no effect 
on us, fixed and stationary as we became by the pressure 
of the surrounding ice on all sides. Every officer and 
man had been on deck throughout this perilous night, 
all the officers assisting in the working of the ship with 
the men. 

We had now time to make ourselves more comfortable 
by having Sylvestre's stove lighted. The mainbrace 
spliced, this means an extra allowance of grog and 
rations of preserved meat served out, which the ship's 
company partook of on deck. As I did not turn into 
my cot till eight a.m., I for the first time in my life had 
an opportunity afforded me of witnessing twenty-four 
hours of daylight, the sun being now constantly above 
the horizon : wind, S.W. 

Tuesday, 15M.— We are now completely beset on all 
sides by the pack, with fine clear weather and light 

c c 2 


Voyages of Discovery. 


southerly winds, the very contrast to the stormy, tem- 
pestuous scenes we have gone through of late. Fulmar 
petrel flew about the ship in great numbers and I went 
upon the ice and shot eight of them and an ivory gull. 
In the evening I shot a glaucous gull and another ivory 
gull from the ship. Saw two walruses lying upon the 
ice at some distance ahead of the ship. On the follow- 
ing day a young bear came alongside the ship and was 

Friday, \%th. — Being clear and fine weather, a party 
consisting of Lieutenant Ross and Mr. Beverley and 
three men were sent over the ice to attempt a landing, 
the shore being three or four leagues distant. But they 
returned after a few hours' absence, having met with a 
lane of water arresting any further progress. They had 
shot a few birds. Red Beach, on the northern coast of 
Spitzbergen, oif which we are, is in latitude 80° N. and 
longitude 13° E. 

Salurc/ay, 19///. — The weather became thick and hazy 
with falls of snow, the ship's side undergoing heavy 
pressure from the surrounding ice, forced up in hummocks 
around her, and getting her into a " nip." The whole pack 
was .hrowp up into rude shapeless masses by the strong 
westerly gale blowing, and, covered with a white mantle 
from the falling snow, gave to the whole scene more the 
appearance, as the crew expressed it, of a stone-mason's 
yard, only on an exaggerated scale, than anything else 
it could be compared to. Sylvestre's stove was lighted 

Sunday, 20th. — Divine rervice was as usual performed 
by Captain Parry, tl>e text taken from the first chapter 
and fifth and sixth verses of the Epistle of St. James. 
Hot-air stove lighted. Light westerly winds and snow. 

Monday, 21st. — Hot-air stove again lighted. 

Ttiesday, 22nd. — Lieutenant Ross with two other 
officers and three men were sent from the ship early this 


Captain Parry gives vie Charge of a Watch. 389 

morning, and effected a landing over the ice, returning 
on board again soon after noon, a signal having been 
hoisted and several guns fired for their recall on a fog 
coming on. For the last few days the pressure of the 
ice has been so great as to force ujd immense hummocks 
all round the ship. 

Wednesday, 2'^rd. — To-day the ice seemed in motion, 
separating in several places ; one hole of water made its 
appearance near the ship ; so to assist in this movement 
of the ice, we got sail on the ship, and " sallied " her to 
loosen her from the ice-cradle in which she rested, but 
without effect. 

Thtirsday, 2\th. — A bear was seen near the ship hist 
night, in the middle watch. The weather extremely 
fine to-day, and although the temperature was not above 
32°, seemed quite mild to our feelings. Sails were 
loosed to-day, and the wheels for the polar boats got 
upon deck, from the hold. Having seen a walrus blow- 
ing in the hole of water near the ship, I took my gun 
with me on the ice, and approaching the edge of the 
hole just as he rose to blow, I fired a ball at and 
wounded him, but he immediately dived under the ice, 
and I saw no more of him. 

Friday, 2^th. — Cloudy, with light south-easterly winds. 
In removing one of the reindeer out of the launch on 
deck this morning, its leg was broken, and it had to be 
killed, poor thing. Captain Parry and Lieutenant Ross, 
have been busily employed stowing the stores in their 
boats, preparatory to their de[)arture. Captain Parry 
finding the season already so far advancing, has resolved 
upon losing no more time, and consequently, intends 
leaving the ship where she is in the pack, and com- 
mence his journey over the ice in the boats, on Sunday 
morning next, the 27th. To-day, I shot a fulmar petrel 
from the ship. 

Saturday, 2bth. — Captain Parry told me to-day, that, 




I?) I I I' !> 

' i; 


Voyages of Discovery. 

during his absence from the ship, he should give me the 
charge of a watch on board the ship. The boats and 
eight sledges, laden with stores and provisions, are 
getting ready for his departure to-morrow. 

Sunday, 27///. — At four a.m. the two travelling- boats 
were lowered from the ship upon the ice, and by 
seven a.m. had all their stores stowed in them, and the 
sledges loaded. Then the reindeer were harnessed to 
them. Captain Parry's boat and the dingy were hauled 
to a floe-piece of ice about a hundred yards from the 
ship, after a great deal of labour in getting them over the 
rough, uneven, hummocky ice. On the wheels being 
attached to one of the boats, they sank up to the axle- 
tree in the soft snov/ covering the ice, and resisted the 
attempts of all hands to move them. And after many 
fruitless efforts, all unavailing, the deep snow drifted 
between the rugged hummocks, rendering the boat quite 
immovable. Captain Parry was most reluctantly com- 
pelled to relinquish the attempt as hopeless and im- 
practicable. Never, perhaps before, was witnessed so 
novel and exciting a scene as the motley group of 
officers and men, together with the boats on the wheels, 
the sledges, and the reindeer, presented on the ice, along- 
side of the Hecla this morning. The Polar party them- 
selves were picturesque in the extreme, their travelling- 
dresses, consisting of a racoon-skin cap, box-cloth jacket 
with a hood for hauling over the head, breeches of the 
same material, having their seats covered with a patch 
of waterproof canvas, of a white colour, in striking con- 
trast to the blue colour* of the cloth ; these were buckled 
at the knee with a strap, from which gaiters of the same 
material encased the legs. After their arduous and 
laborious morning's work, all hands were piped to break- 
fast, after which they were assembled on the quarter- 
deck, and Captain Parry in a few words explained to 
them the impossibility of proceeding over the ice in its 

Attempt to reach Red Beach with a Boat. 39 1 

present condition. The whole forenoon was occupied in 
removing the stores from the boats and sledges, and 
getting them with the reindeer on board again. A party 
of five men with the senior mate, under the command of 
Lieutenant Ross, were sent away with the dingy, to 
report upon the state of the ice at a distance from the 
ship. They returned in the evening, having found it 
better at some distance, but on proceeding still farther 
on, found it again became worse than even that in the 
vicinity of the ship. Captain Parry, when the returning 
party were within a mile of the ship, sent a mate with a 
party of four men to assist in getting the dingy on 
board. One of the reindeer this morning, on being 
hoisted out of the ship, was taken ill on the ice and 
killed. I went up to the crow's-nest this forenoon, and 
saw a walrus lying on the ice, about half a mile from the 
ship. The weather during the day has been very fine 
and clear. The sun quite warm, with light airs from the 
north-west to east. Evening cloudy. 

Monday, 2%th. — Lieutenant Crozier was this morning 
sent away with a party to the eastward to ascertain the 
condition of the ice, but a fog suddenly coming on, a 
gun was fired for their recall. A boat was prepared to- 
day for the polar party, the captain now contemplating 
taking only one boat with him. Weather hazy, with some 
sleet and snow falling, with light airs, ending in a rapid 
thaw ; the ice separating in a number of places, and form- 
ing holes of water, one very large one, on our port 
quarter, in which several ivory gulls were swimming. 
Wind N.E. 

Tuesday, 29//^. — I left the ship at nine a.m., with 
Lieutenant Foster and a party, to haul a boat over the 
ice and land her on Red Beach, with stores and pro- 
visions, to be deposited there for the use of the polar 
party on their return, should they need them. After we 
had hauled the boat over the very rugged hummocks. 




Voyages of Discovery. 

with great exertion and labour, to a considerable distance 
from the ship, about eleven a.m. a gun was fired for our 
recall ; but our guns, having got wet in the snow, would 
not go off, and we consequently answered the signal with 
three cheers. Met Lieutenant Crozier with the dingy 
and a party sent to assist us in getting on board. Having 
left our boat on the spot to which we had hauled her, we 
had no means of ferrying ourselves over the holes of 
water between us and the ship, several very large ones 
having opened ; we got on board soon after noon. 
Lieutenant Foster, on being sent away again, got the 
boat within about two miles of the shore, and returned 
on board at eleven p.m. ; the forenoon being foggy, and 
the afternoon clearing up occasioned these changes. 

Wednesday, 30///. — The weather being fine and clear, 
with a light breeze from the eastward, Lieutenant Foster 
with a party, at ten a.m. again left the ship, to complete 
the landing of the boat and stores, which they this time 
accomplished, turning her bottom-up, with the stores 
underneath upon the shore, returning on board at eleven 
p.m., several guns being fired from the ship as signals to 
the party. Just before they reached the beach the ice 
opened and closed again at intervals near the ship. Saw 
several eider-ducks and a very bright ice-blink to the 

Thursday, "^ist. — Employed fitting the polar boats 
and stowing the sledges. In the evening saw three 
polar bears prowling ar st the hummocks of ice at 
some distance from th -• ^^ in an easterly direction ; a 
fire was lighted on the ice, and some meat burnt to attract 
them by the smell, but they kept on their course to the 
eastward. During the middle watch, however, it ap- 
peared that a bear came alongside the ship. 

Friday, June \st. — As we were drifting in shore a party 
was employed to endeavour to extricate the ship from 
the ice in which she was imbedded, by cutting through 

M s 

Ship clear of the Pack. 


it in the direction of a lane of water on the port 

Saturday, 2nd. — Still employed cutting away the ice 
from the hull ; and in the afternoon a fresh breeze of 
wind coming off the land, we took advantage of it to 
unfurl all the sails and " sally " ship, so that in the evening 
we found ourselves drifting from the shore. 

Sunday, 2,^'d. — Wind gone down, and weather fine and 
clear ; drifting to the eastward and in shore, very near 
Grey's Hook. No divisions or divine service; all hands 
employed on the ice and in " sallying ship." Several lanes 
of water opened not far from the ship. More glaucous, 
ivory, and kittiwake gulls have been seen to-day than for 
some time past. 

Monday, \th. During the middle watch last night the 
ship entirely cleared herself from the ice that had sur- 
rounded her, and ssed through the channel cut for 
her into a lane ;ater on the port quarter, leaving 

behind her a kind of dock or ice cradle she had formed for 
herself in the ice that pressed around her, some seventy 
or eighty yards on the starboard bow. During the day 
some ivory gulls collected together about it, to pick up 
the scraps that had been thrown overboard from the ship. 
We were now drifting, at the rate of two miles an hour, to 
the eastward, round Grey's Hook, and much closer in 
shore. Across the entrance to Weyde Bay, which is not 
less than two leagues in breadth, made fast head and stern 
to a floe-piece ; water seen all around the pack, with a 
dark water sky. Killed two of the reindeer to-day. 

Tuesday, ^th. — Fine and clear weather, with light, 
southerly winds ; made all sail, but went very little ahead, 
and in the evening the ice had closed up all the lanes of 
water, and the ship was stationary off the entrance to 
Weyde's Bay ; made fast to some hummocks on a floe- 
piece ; a number of gulls of various kinds were flying 
about the ship to-day. 




Voyages of Discovery. 

Wednesday, 6th. — Drifting to the eastward and in shore; 
saw a seal basking in the sun, and rolling over from side 
to side, on a piece of ice near a hole of water at some 
distance from the ship. About five p.m. Captain Parry, 
with a party of officers and men, left the ship, and having 
hauled their boat over the ice into open water, pulled on 
shore, and landed near Mussel Bay, two miles in depth, 
and ten miles S.W. of Verlegen Hook. They returned 
on board about one a.m., having shot a reindeer and seen 
several others ; lighted a fire on the beach with driftwood, 
which they found in abundance, and made a cache of 
provisions there, for any future emergencies that might 
occur ; but found no suitable bay for securing the ship 

Friday, Zth. — Lieutenant Ross and a party went on 
shore to collect some moss for the remaining reindeer on 
board, and they shot a deer and brought it on board. In the 
evening, a strong breeze of wind springing up from the 
southward cleared the ship of the pack, and left a lane of 
water in shore of us, after having been closely beset for 
above three weeks, but with unusually fine and clear 
weather, for these regions, during the whole period, with 
fresh water on the floes. 

Saturday, gth. — At three a.m. we rounded the low point 
of land extending out from Verlegen Hook, in latitude 
80° 16' N . ; the sea around us was now clear of ice, the 
edge of the pack just appearing bounding the western 
horizon. The land was in sight throughout the day, but 
in the evening it became too hazy to see it. 

Sunday, loth, — Divine service. Stood in towards the 
land in search of a harbour for the ship, but found them 
all blocked up with the winter's ice. Then stood to 
the southward ; and Captain Parry went on shore in a 
boat, to look for a harbour ; and in the evening we 
shaped a northerly course again, with clear open water in 
that direction, but a bright ice-blink to the westward. 



The Highest Latitude attained. 


Land still in sight astern ; thus far our search for a 
secure harbour for the ship has proved fruitless, 

Tuesday, \2th. — Shaping a course for the Seven 
Islands ; passed through much stream ice, and came in 
contact with some of the larger masses, the ship surging 
considerably as her bows struck against them. Saw six 
walruses reposing on a piece of ice, at some distance on 
the port side, and passed two others, having a glaucous 
gull sitting near them on another piece, between lOO and 
200 yards from the ship. Another was seen at the 
same time swimming on our starboard side. We had 
a fine view to-day of the Seven Islands, with a part 
of the mainland of Spitzbergen and the Waygatz 
Strait. Many glaucous, ivory gulls, fulmar petrel, dove- 
kies, and looms, about the ship. Had Sylvestre's stove 
lighted to-day, and one of the crow's-nests got down 
this evening. 

Thursday, yune i\th. — Standing to the northward 
through more stream ice than we passed yesterday, with 
a southerly breeze and cloudy weather. Small flocks of 
little auk, dovekies, looms, kittiwake, and fulmar petrel 
flying about. At midnight I went up to the crow's-nest 
at the fore-topgallant mast-head, and whilst I was there 
the ship was put about, in lat. 81° 6' 34" N., and 
long. 1 9° 34' E., the highest latitude yet reached by any 
well-authenticated record, perhaps, with the exception 
of Mr. Scoresby's observation, in 81° 12' 42''. I saw all 
around me open water clear of ice, as far as the eye could 
reach, from my elevated position, encircled on all sides by 
a panorama at once novel, striking, and deeply interest- 
ing, a scene never to be forgotten, 

From memory's tablet ne'er to be erased, 
Though all things else from it shall be effaced. 

With the aid of the telescope even nothing but loose 
sailing ice could be seen in the northern horizon. And 




Voyages of Discovery. 




oh ! how I then wished we could have made a dash for 
the Pole in the ship herself ! 

Friday, i^th. — Last night when we tacked, in our 
farthest northern latitude, we took in the topgallant sails, 
furled the main-sail, and shaped a course for the Seven 
Isles. To-day they were in sight ; clear water, hazy 
weather, with small snow at intervals, and westerly winds. 
Towards evening it fell calm, and Captain Parry gave mc 
the dingy, during the first watch, to go after some 
birds, and after pulling about until ten p.m., I returned 
on board, having shot three little auk, a kittiwake, and 
loom, probably in a higher latitude than ever birds fell 
to a gun before, and were consequently skinned and 
preserved at once with the greatest care. One of the 
little auk I still have in my own collection of Arctic birds, 
and a second is in the Edinburgh Museum of Natural 
History, which my late lamented friend, Professor Jame- 
son, exhibited in one of his lectures at the University in 
the year 1830, when I was attending his course of 
lectures on Natural History. A light breeze springing 
up, we stood in for the land. The thermometer on deck 
was 30°, and below in the cabin 54° Fahrenheit. 

Saturday, \6t/i. — Captain Parry and Lieutenant Foster 
left the ship in two boa^^s in search of a harbour amongst 
the Seven Islandc, but returned on board in the evening 
unsuccessful. They landed on Walden Island, which, it 
appears, is of granitic formation, rising to about 500 feet 
above the sea in lat. 80° 35' N., and long. 19" 51' E. 
They here made a cac^ie of provisions for the polar boats 
on their return. ' I went up into the crow's-nest and took 
a sketch of the islands from this altitude ; they are still 
united together by the winter's ice or land floe. Walden 
Island is a very barren-looking rock, having scarcely a 
vestige of even moss or lichen on its cold, grey looking, 
high and steep, almost perpendicular sides. 

Sunday, \']th. — This forenoon Lieutenant Ross and 

W Miirtiiii 


' oster 








Off Waygatz Slrait. 


Mr. Beverley landed on the northernmost of the seven 
islands, called Little Table Island, and made some caches 
of provisions there. I had a fine view this evening of 
the whole of the islands from the crow's-nest. When we 
shaped our course for the mainland of Spitzbergen I saw 
a flock of eider duck and several dovckies and looms. 

Monday, \ %th. — Wc were off the entrance to the Way- 
gatz Strait. Passed a bear on a floe-piece of ice, so close 
to the ship that she came in contact with one end of it. 
Weather cloudy, with strong westerly winds. This 
forenoon Lieutenant Foster was sent away in a boat 

Waldcn Island, Spitzbcrgcn. {See pa^e 396 ) 


■A \ 

Cloven ClilT, Spiuberijcii. (^SVf />(/(,'<• 387.) 


ITecla scfured in Trcurcnberg Bay — I land in Ilccia Cove, and shoot a 
reindeer— A walrus family circle— Cutting a canal through the ice. 
— Departure of polar boats — Commence my duties in charge of a 
watch — Deer-shooting excursion to opposite shore- -Shoot a polar 
bear— Sliip driven ashore — Flora of the islands. 

Tuesday, \()th. — Two boats left the ship with Captain 
Parry, Lieutenant Ross, and Mr, Beverley, to look for a 
harbour round a low point of land extending out to the 
eastward of Verlegen Hook, whici. 'jy had the good 
fortune very soon to find within a fine bay named by the 
Dutch in the chart Treurenberg Bay, or Bay of Sorrow, 
and after sounding the entrance to it returned on board. 
All hands were now turned up, and Captain Parry, 
addressing them, said that as a fine harbour had at last 
been found, he expected to have the Hecla secured in it 
before they slept. I saw the Waygatz from the crow's- 
nest to-day. . In working in for the harbour I witnessed 
a most gratifying scene for the naturalist. As the ship 
neared a piece of ice, on which a pair of walruses, with 
their young one, were reposing, with a pair of glaucous 
gulls standing quietly near them, they became alarmed 
for the safety of the cub, probably the only son and heir 
to their icy domain. After many and fruitless attempts 

My First Landing in SpHzhergen. 


to induce tlu: sonu.wh;it wilful youngster to take to the 
water, one of the parents rolled his huge carcase off the 
ice into the sea and swam alonj^ the ice-edge, whilst 
the other persistently, but carefully ind gradually, rolled 
its little treasure before its own massive form till it 
reached the margin of the piece of ice, when, with the 
aid of its (Uppers, it gently lowered the little creature 
into the sea, where the other parent was in readiness to 
receive it ; when these not very ulegant, huf certainly 
most affectionate, creatures swam away with their pet 
offspring carefully guarded between them. As we 
approached the shore I saw a large bear prowling along 
the beach, and several reindeer gra;fing on the moss-clad 
land. We found a great deal of ice in the bay, through 
which we warped the ship, and made fast to the land ice 
with ice-anchors, the winter's lloe not having yet broken 
up in this deep bay. We got the ship secured by mid- 
night. A solitary reindeer was fe«;ding at the base of 
the high mountain above the cove whilst we were warp- 
ing the ship up to the ice-edge. 

Wednesday, 20/h. — About half-past two o'clock this 
morning I walked over the floe between the ship and the 
shore, and landed for the first time in my life on an island 
in which I have always felt so much interested— deso- 
late Spitzbergen. All was silence and solitude. As I 
strolled alone — my only companion my gun — in the 
direction of the spot where I had first seen the solitary 
reindeer, and as I rounded the spur of the mountain I 
sighted it lying down near a low ridge of rocks not far 
from the spot where it first attracted my attention. On 
seeing me it suddenly rose and made an attempt to 
escape the fate that awaited it, but I fired as it was 
moving off and wounded it so severely that I was 
enabled by running to come up with it before it could 
climb, wounded as it was, over the ridge. It turned 
round upon me, and stood at bay. On its butting at me, 



Voyages of Discovery. 

!■ l! 


I Struck it on the forehead between the antlers with the 
butt-end of my double-barrelled gun, unfortunately break- 
ing the stock off at the narrow checkered part. I had to 
seize the deer, which was a fine, powerful male animal, 
by his handsome branched antlers, still covered with their 
velvety down, and after a struggle I severed the large 
artery in the neck with my penknife. I saw two more 
deer and a pair of brent-geese as I returned on board 
about five p.m. The ship was at anchor in thirteen 
fathoms, on a bottom of blue clay, and secured to the 
land ice by hawsers. The curve in the bay in which she 
lies on the port side was named after the ship, Hecla 
Cove. After a few hours' rest the ship's company, both 
officers and men, were all busily employed in cutting a 
canal about a quarter of a mile in length, to which the 
ship was warped to a position nearer in shore, and made 
fast to the rocks with a cable, having besides this an 
anchor and chain cable out in the bay. A novel and 
animating scene the ice presented, the fine old ship her- 
self forming the centre piece of the busy group, as they 
worked with the long ice saws attached to two triangles 
in sawing diagonally through the ice across the canal, or 
with hand-saws, handspikes, boat-hooks, and boarding- 
pikes shoved the detached fragments out of the canal 
after they had been separated by the saws. The day 
proved extremely fine, with a bright sun shining, and all 
except myself were wearing shades of green crape over 
the eyes, that had been served out for the purpose ; but 
my own omission of this, in most cases, useful precaution 
had not escaped the keen, observant eye of Parry, who 
came up to me as I was towing a large fragment of ice 
out of the canal, and, goodnaturedly taking off my cap, 
attached to its peak a small square piece of the green 
crape which he took out of his pocket, accompanying 
the action with a friendly rebuke on my reckless exposure 
of my sight to the intense white glare of the snow under 


z Z 

. u 






I, 1 



■ J ■;" 




BiMJ., I 


Departure of the Polar Boals. 


the dazzling rays of the sun. In the evening I went on 
shore, taking one of the crew with me to bring the deer 
on board I shot hist night. We found a fox enjoying his 
supper upon it ; he had ah"eady changed his white winter 
coat for the more sombre brown summer one, and doubt- 
less little dreaming of having his solitary meal so uncere- 
moniously disturbed by a shot. I fired at him as he 
bounded off scatheless. Having omitted to grallock the 
deer when I shot it, the lapse of twenty-four hours even in 
this climate had rendered it wholly unfit for food. I 
preserved the fine antlers with their beautifully soft surface, 
with the feet, and have them still in my collection. I 
saw some brent-geese and another deer, but could not get 
within shot of them. Mr. Beverley found an eider-duck's 
nest with three eggs. Mr. Fiddes, our worthy and 
ingenious old ship's carpenter, soon repaired my fractured 
gun-stock with a piece of brass from an old sextant. 

Thursday, 2\sl. — All hands employed this forenoon in 
getting the launch on shore and well hauled up on the 
beach, hoisting out the polar boats on the ice, and stowing 
them with seventy-one days' provisions and stores, which, 
including the two boats and other things, gave a weight of 
about 260 lbs. per man to draw; each boat had two officers, 
ten seamen, and two marines. Captain Parry's boat 
was named the Enterprise, and Lieutenant Ross's the 
Endeavour. Between five and six p.m. they tcjk their 
departure, accompanied by Lieutenant Crozier in one of the 
ship's cutters, with an extra allowance of provisions, as far 
asWalden and Low Islands, for their use on their return. 

We gave them three hearty cheers from the ship, which 
was as heartily returned by the boats. I went on shore, 
and from Flagstaff Point, at the outer corner of the cove, 
saw them clear of the bay, and on returning on board 
I went up to the " crow's-nest " at the mast-head, and 
took a last view of them as they threaded their way through 





the narrow leads of water amongst the ice. 

VOL. I. 

D d 




Voyages of Discovery. 



How gladly then would I have exchanged places with 
any one of the boat's crew, and cheerfully worked at the 
paddle or drag-belt, with such a glorious prospect in view 
as that of unfurling our time-honoured flag on the Pole 
of our planet ! 

Friday, 22nd. — The ship's company commenced land- 
ing twelve months' provisions and stores to be left on 
shore as a depot with the launch, as a reserve for the polar 
party in the event of the ship being unavoidably driven 
out to sea from the bay, and by any unforeseen accident 
prevented from reaching it again, which would necessi- 
tate the boats' crews wintering there on their return. 

Sunday, 24//^. — Early in the morning watch a bear and 
her cub came alongside the ship, and after having been 
wounded by the officer of the watch, who had fired two 
shots at her, made off across the bay ice for the shore. 
Roused from my morning's slumber by the unusual noise 
on deck, I hastily dressed, ran on deck, and was soon 
over the ship's side in pursuit. After tracking them 
over the floe to one of the hills by Hecla Cove, and 
getting two long shots, both mother and cub returned to 
the floe again and made for the top of the bay. In this 
manccuvre they were intercepted by one of the ship's 
company, concealed behind a hummock of ice, giving her 
the coup-dc-^ri\cc by a ball from a ship's musket ; but the 
cub escaped on shore. Lieutenant Foster this forenoon 
performed divine service ; and in the afternoon pemmican 
was served out to the crew, with leave to go on shore 
on a shooting excursion. They saw two bears during 
their" rambles. The weather continues to be very fine 
and clear. 

Monday, 2^tli. — The Hccla, being now left with a 
diminished number of her executive officers for keeping 
the watches, I entered upon my new executive duties as 
had been arranged by Captain Parry before his departure 
in the boats, by my keeping this morning's watch. These 




Commence my ncio Duties of keeping the Watch. 403 

duties will be simple enough, so long as we remain at 
anchor in the harbour. But should we, by any chance, 
be driven out to sea, my innate, indeed, I may say, here- 
ditary predilection, for navigation and seamanship, which 
prompted me, on my first entrance into the service, to 
commence taking observations for the latitude and longi- 
tude, and keeping the vessel's reckoning, will prove 
valuable to me now. I saw several white whales (^Dcl- 
phitnls albicans) and walruses swimming about at the 
top of the canal. About noon Lieutenant Crozier and 
his party returned from Little Table Island, having 
deposited a cache of provisions on Low Lslet, lying just 
off it. They left the polar boats and party all well at 
Walden Island at four p.m. on Saturday, the 23rd. 

Tuesday, 26th. — I had the charge of the middle watch, 
and went on shore in the evening with my gun, accom- 
panied by one of my messmates, and each of us about 
midnight succeeded in shooting a deer amongst the 
ridges of rocks skirting the bay. We first rolled the 
carcases of the deer down the precipitous snowy slopes 
to the floe beneath, and then followed ourselves, by sliding 
down the slippery, hard surface of the snow to the 
bottom. Afterwards dragged the deer across the bay- 
floe to the ship. 1 made mine fast to my shot-belt with 
my handkerchief. On the following day I again went on 
shore in the afternoon, and killed another deer on the 
plain, over by the W'aygatz beach. 

Thursday, 28th. — Light, northerly winds, with snow 
and sleet. Shot an ivory gull from the ship. Went on 
shore in the evening, and shot three sandpipers {JTriuga 
maritima) on the rocky point at the entrance to the 
bay, and saw a brown fox, but could not get within shot 
of him. I returned on board for the dingy, and pulled 
myself about amongst the ice in the bay, which is fast 
breaking up all round the canal cut for the ship, and 
in motion everywhere. There is open water now to 

D d 2 

R M 




Voyat^cs of Discovery. 

W J 


m -f. > 

' \:: 

the rocky point, so that we can land in the bouts. I shot 
an eider-duck (Anas mollissima), a dovekie, and an 
arctic gull [Lestris parasiticus), and kept the middle 
watch afterwards. 

Friday, 29/4. — The boats landed the last of the pro- 
visions for the launch to-day. A great deal of hum- 
niocky ice set into the bay, with cloudy, squally weather, 
and snow at intervals in the night. I kept the first 

Satu7-day, 30///. — A shooting party left the ship in one 
of the cutters, landing on the opposite side of the bay, 
which appears to afford the best shooting-ground here, 
the long tract of moss and grass-covert land extending 
between the base of the ridge of hills and the shores of 
the bay, where there is excellent pasturage for the deer, 
of which we met with several herds. I had the good 
fortune myself to shoot five of them, one being a fawn ; 
five more were killed by the rest of the party. We made 
a fire with driftwood on the beach near the boat, over 
which we cooked some preserved meats, with biscuit, 
and grog mixed with lemon-juice or lime-juice — that 
invaluable anti-scorbutic, with which all polar explorers 
should be supplied with daily rations, to be served out 
with the same regularity as the grog, whether on board 
ship, or on the floe with boat or sledge. Then they need 
have no fear or apprehensions of being attacked by 
scurvy, that sad scourge of all high latitudes. 

After the exercise and keen air in the chase of the 
deer we partook of our excellent dinner with keen appe- 
tites, enjoying the novel sort of picnic very much. I 
also shot an arctic gull, eider-duck, and brent-goose 
{Anas bernicla). for the collection. When returning on 
board in the evening, we fired at and wounded a large 
seal [Phoca grcenlandica) lying on a piece of ice ; but 
before we could reach him he struggled off into the 
water, and sank immediately. We also fired at and 

.: 1 

Ship driven on Shore by breaking up of Ihe Floe. 405 

wounded a walrus, swimming near the boat, when he 
dived and brought up another with him. But they soon 
disappeared again below the surface, and showed no dis- 
position to attack the boat, although it has been said that 
when one of these animals happens to be wounded among 
a herd, the whole of the herd will make a combined 
attack on a boat with their tusks, which would very 
soon stave a boat. Weather fine, with light northerly 

Smiday, yuty \st. — Lieutenant Foster performed 
divine service, and read the articles of war on the quarter- 
deck. ' 

Ttiesday, i^rd. — I went on shore in the afternoon, and 
shot an eider-drake ; and again, on the following evening, 
after two deer, but could not get within shot of either of 
them. Shot a sandpiper, and brought it on board ; also 
a glaucous and arctic gull on the beach round the rocky 
point of the cove, but, owing to their falling into the sea, 
and having no boat with me, I lost them. I therefore 
now took the dingy, and pulled myself about the bay 
nearly all night, but only shot an eider-drake. Immense 
quantities of the bay floe have been drifting out of the 
bay. One of our Lapland deer died to-day. 

Thursday, ^th. — This evening pulled about the bay in 
the dingy till midnight. Shot a dovekie, an ivory and 
a glaucous gull, with two terns (Sterna arcticd). Fine, 
clear weather, with light northerly winds. 

Friday, 6th. — The strong breezes blowing to-day have 
nearly cleared the whole bay of ice. I took the dingy 
in the evening, and pulled about the bay till midnight, 
returning with an ivory gull, fulmar petrel, kittiwake, and 
six dovekies, three of the latter at each shot. 

Saturday, 'jth. — Cloudy weather, with strong, southerly 
winds ; brought an immense body of ice down from the 
uppermost part of the bay, which came upon us so sud- 
denly that the ship was driven before it on shore, but 


ii t 




I 'oyas^cs of Discovery. 

i£ I 


fortunately she grouncletl on a inuckly bottom, not far 
from the rocks on the beach. We struck the topgalhint 
masts, and hove overboard most of the stone-ballast 
we had only taken in a few days previously, and at 
high water endeavoured to get her afloat, but failed in 
the attempt. 

Sunday, St/i. — By carrying an anchor out we warped 
the ship off this afternoon, after much laborious exertion 
at the capstan and windlass, at which every officer and 
man in the ship worked alike with unflagging energy. 
Pi;mps worked, but no water in the hold. 

Tuesday, \oi/i. — A great deal of ice, which had come 
Into the bay during the night, has been setting out again 
throughout the day. Ship's company employed watering 
ship. I kept the four to six p.m. watch. A few days 
ago I saw a finner whale in the bay, blowing and spouting 
Vip the water, as he rose above the surface. 

Wednesday, wth. — Blowing a southerly gale, drifting 
the ice out of the bay. All hands employed getting the 
ballast on board again. I went on shore and shot a 
deer, and two young snow buntings {Enibenza nk'a/i\), 
and collected a few plants. 

Friday, \2>^h. — Cloudy weather, with fresh breezes, 
which, in the evening, increased to a gale of wind. All 
hands employed watering ship, and getting ballast on 
board. I went on shore in the afternoon, and col- 
lected some plants, and in the evening pulled about the 
bay in the dingy, and shot a dovekie. 

Saturday, it^th. — I left the ship about ten a.m., and 
\yalked to the top of the bay, returning on board about 
four p.m., having collected some plants, and shot a grouse, 
or, rather?' ptarmigan [Tetrao lagopus). I saw several 
young ones, and also shot a snow bunting, two sand- 
pipers, a kittiwake, and a ringed plover {Charadrius 
hiatunld), the latter bird was the only one seen during 
our voyage. All hands employed in watering ship and 

Reindeer-shooting Excursion . 


getting ballast on board. In the evening the ice was 
again settingi»into the ba^^^ 

Monday, le/Z/.-^Warped the ship nearer the shore to 
a soft mud bottom, so as to secure her from the enormous 
pressure of thc^jce drifting in and 'out of the bay, and 
prevent her Irom being forced upon the^ rocks by it. 

Thursday, icih. — We formed another deer-shooting 
party for the opposite side of the bay, which we have 
found to be the chief resort of the deer, there being a 
great deal of vegetation, a rich lu.xuriant turf, witii 
several lakes of water, much frequented by the wild fowl. 
Eleven deer altogethE^rj^wi^re killed by the party, four 
of them shtet^y myself; I also shot four looms, an eider- 
duck, and arctic gull. Some ducks' and gulls' eggs were 
■ also found on the beach by some of our party Having 
taken "a tent with us to-day, we pitched it on the beach 
to dine in, and returnecj on board about eleven p.m. To- 
day being the anniverscyyj^Lki» ^ajesty's coronation, a 
royaT^'s^te j]k^ fired ^innonour of the event at one 
o'clock, by the small guns at the observatory on shore. 
The hot-air stove was Ijghfeed^on board to-day. Fine 
weathei% with Ijght hortfip^Ty winds. 

... Smtday^'yuly 22nd. — Every officer and man in the 
ship employed at the capstan or windlass in getting out 
two hawsers to the 'ghore, and niooring ship afresh — 
sh^ having duringn1i«*night"fihifted the cable from the 
rocks to which it had been made fast. I had the after- 
noon watch, and in the evening I went on shore to col- 
lect some of the beautiful little primrose-coloured poppies 
which I had noticed forming a bright spot like a little 
oasis on a projecting crag, at some height up the almost 
perpendicular acclivity of the mountain-side, where a rich 
soil had lodged, producing a luxuriant, moss-clad turf. 
I found the ascent so steep as I advanced, that it was 
with no small difficulty I succeeded in clambering up to 
it, but I was rewarded by the unusual size and fine colour 


; ! ■ 



I 'oyaocs flf Discoveiy. 

of tlu! flowers, more especially of the poppy {Papaver 
niidiraule), which, from their sheltered position in so rich 
a bit of turf, aided by the radiation of heat from the side 
of the mountain exposed to the full j^lare of the mid-day 
sun, had attained an unusual size and beauty. It is one 
of the most characteristic flowers of the Arctic regions, 
together with the little orange-coloured saxifrage [S. 
Jlai^clan's), with its bell-shaped corolla in the centre of 
its strawberry-like tendrils or runners, and the purple saxi- 
frage {Scixi/raQa o/yposi/ifo/ia) , the Ranunculus nivalis, the 
Cerastium alpinum, and Andromeda tctragona, are also 
very generally distributed; and amongst the Crucifera, 
Draba alpina and Parrya ardica. The most :5triking 
flower amongst the Rosaceoi is the Diyas oclopclala, and of 
the lichens, the reindeer moss {Ccnoniycc rangiferind) and 
Lccanora clcgans. The dwarf willow [Salix arctica) is 
the only representative of arborescent vegetation creeping 
amongst the moss-clad turf, with its tortuous, root-like 
brown stems, not above an inch or two in height, but 
rendered conspicuous by its silvery-white, small, floccu- 
lent catkins. 

,. .£'- 


Hills west side of Ticurenborjj Hay. (Scv fiirj^c 404.) 



Remarkable round hill, Treurenbcrg Hay, Spitzbergen. 



Return of the polar boats — Seal-shooting— Ptarmigan-shootin^;— Under 
weigh from Heda Cove — Land at Red licacli— Homcward-Ijound. 

Monday, 2 3;-^'. —Lieutenant Crozier, with the junior 
mate and a boat's crew, left the ship to-day for the 
rendezvous of the polar party, Walden Island, Little 
Table, and Low Islands. Flags were placed at various 
points around the bay, preparatory for the survey of it. 
I shot a seal throusfh the head as he was swimming, but 
he sank before I could reach him in the boat. I also 
shot two eider-ducks, two tern, two sandpipers, an arctic 
gull, dovekie, and little auk. Found a tern's nest with 
two eggs on the beach, a simple excavation in the 
shingle, without any kind of lining whatever. The 
parent birds made a great clamour on approaching their 
nest, darting in a furious manner at my head, repeatedly 
renewing the attack, each time nearer, till within a few 
inches of my hat, until I was some distance away from 
the nest ; I also found two eider-ducks' nests, with four 
eggs in each (their usual number), deposited in a very 
different manner to the tern's — having a warm lining of 
soft down, which the birds pluck from their own breasts 
for the purpose. I returned on board about eight p.m , 




/ '(lyases of Discovery 


and in crossing over the bay, saw a };reat number of little 
auk near the entrance ; the first Hock I liave seen of them 
during our stay here, and no king-ducks whatever. 
Light easterly winds with snow and sleet at intervals. 

Tuesday y 24///. — Lieutenant booster away with a party 
surveying the bay. The last of our Lapland reindeer 
died to-day. 

Saturday, 28///. — About six p.m. our boat returned 
from the .Seven Islands, and having reported that they 
had seen a bear walking along the beach, outside of the 
harbour, about three miles from the ship a party was 
soon got up to go in pursuit of him, consisting of three 
ofificersand three men, starting from the ship in the midst 
of a snow-storm, sleet, and small snow, almost blinding us. 
When we had got within about a quarter of a mile of the 
spot where he had been seen, we discovered him feeding 
on the carcase of a seal, which had been washed up on the 
beach, and doubtless was the one 1 had shot in the bay 
a few days previously. No sooner had bruin fixed his 
eyes on us than he began sniffing the air with his snout 
turned upwards, watching us suspiciously for some 
seconds, and then resumed his feast. We halted at the 
base of a rising ground, to examine the condition of our 
percussion-caps and the priming of the ship's muskets, 
and to arrange our plan of attack. We separated into 
three divisions, one to proceed along the beach, the 
second to make a circuit of the ridges inland of him, so 
as to cut off all retreat, whilst the third party, consisting 
of myself and the third mate, with double-barrelled fowling 
pieces, formed the centre division, advancing in a direct 
line upon him. When we had arrived within thirty-five 
yards of him he turned from the seal and advanced a few 
paces towards us, then halted, opening his jaws and 
showing his formidable upper and lower tier of teeth, 
eyeing us with a fierce and savage scowl, evincing some 
disposition to be the attacking party, or at all events to 


B' \^ 

Attack and s/ioot a Polar luar on the Hcacli. 4 1 1 

defend his hirder. But vvegavi; him scant time for action, 
which I anticipated by firing the first shot, gra/.inj^f his 
forefoot, which he shook violently, at the same instant, 
turning his head round, made a bite at his own side, ap- 
parently actuated to do so by the pain from the wound. 
The report had scarcely died away from my own ^ww, 
when my companion fired, and his ball missing, I dis- 
charged my second barrel just as bruin was plunging into 
the sea, but with no better effect. Hy this time the two 
other divisions had come up and opened a volley upon 
the retreating fugitive, before which he swam with the 
greatest rapidity, apparently unscathed. Although we 
had one or two good shots in our party, our benumbed 
fingers from the extreme severity of the weather, and 
the blinding sleet and snow-drift in our eyes, with the 
somewhat hurried firing, explain our failure. Whilst my 
companions were discharging their guns, I was reloading 
mine, both barrels, with some difficulty, in the almost 
insensible state of the fingers' ends, when the hand 
was ungloved. Bruin by this time had placed about 
100 yards between us, almost beyond range. How- 
ever, taking as steady an aim as I could when he 
was broadside on to me, I was fortunate enough 
to plant a ball behind his shoulder, wounding him so 
badly, that the blood from the wound dyed his cream- 
white coat with crimson, compelling him to bear up for 
the nearest piece of ice aground in the wash of the surf, 
upon which he managed with no little difficulty to 
clamber, colouring it and the water around red with his 
life's blood. The rest of the party, having reloaded, 
opened a whole volley upon him, and he rolled his huge 
carcase over into the deep, without a moan or groan 
escaping him. The sea washed him high enough up the 
beach to enable us by wading up to our waists in the 
water to drag his enormous, unwieldy form through the 
surf, and aboye high-water mark. This, after no slight 





Voyages of Discovery. 

t I 

exertion, v/e managed to do, but with some difficulty, 
notwithstanding there were six of us, with all the health 
and strength of youth, and there we left his remains for 
the present. 

Sunday, 29///, — Snow, sleet, and fresh northerly winds. 
Ship having struck the ground last night, we hove her 
into deep water to-day. 

Monday, ■}^oth. — The snow recently fallen on the 
summits of the mountains has given them quite a wintry 
aspect. We had Sylvestre's stove lighted to-day. 

Ttiesday, 31^/. — Cloudy, with small rain in the afternoon 
and light, southerly winds. At ten a.m. a party of us left 
the ship and crossed over the bay to the opposite side on 
a deer-shooting excursion, and pitched our tent there, in 
which we dined. Six deer in all were killed, two of that 
number shot by myself. I also shot an arctic gull, and 
had a shot at a seal, returning on board at ten p.m. 

Wednesday, August ist. — I paid a visit to the dead 
bear, whose carcase had proved a great attraction to the 
gull tribe, and where I shot a fine glaucous and three 
ivory gulls, whilst they were feasting on it, and others on 
the next day. 

Monday, 6th. — We left the ship on a reindeer-shooting 
excursion for two days. Pitched a tent to sleep in- 
Sixteen deer were killed in all, six of them by myself, and 
a share in the seventh, a large stag with splendid antlers ; 
but as it appeared to be a debatable point as to who 
should claim the head, the hunter's perquisite, the officer 
who had a hand in killing it and myself agreed to present 
the magnificent antlers to a messmate, who was one of 
the shooting party. I also shot an arctic gull, two kitti- 
wakes, and two sandpipers. Saw two foxes, fired at one, 
biit missed him. ' 

Wednesday, i^th. — To-day a man was stationed at the 
rocks by the signal-post on the point of Hecla Cove, to 
look out for the return of the polar boats ; three of the 
ship's company were placed in three watches for this 

n ; 

Return of the Polar Boats. 


particular duty. Surveying parties are out almost every 

Tuesday, August 2 ist. — Left the ship this morning with 
a deer-shooting party for the opposite side of the bay. I 
only saw five deer, and they were so shy and wary, I 
could only get within a very long shot of one of them, 
which I fired at, but missed. The deer have now nearly 
all deserted the bay, either from having been so much 
disturbed by our shooting parties or the approach of winter, 
perhaps both causes may have contributed their influence, 
I only shot an arctic gull and picked up a few plants. 
When returning from the pursuit of a deer to the boat at 
three p.m., having only just seated myself on the beach 
to take some dinner, one of our party discovered the 
ensign flying on the flagstaff at the entrance to the cove, 
this being the signal for the polar boats being in sight. 
We at once got into the boat and shoved off for the ship, 
without a single deer having been killed by any one of 
our party. As soon as we had got on board I hastened 
up to the " crow's-nest," from which I plainly saw the 
returning boats pulling along in shore, about two miles 
off. There were three boats, the party having brought 
back with them the boat from Walden Island. A boat 
was sent from the ship to meet them, and as they came 
round the point into the bay, with ensigns flying, we 
saluted them with twenty-one guns. It appeared that after 
great exertions they had attained the latitude of 82° 45' 
N., longitude 19° 25' E., 172 miles from the ship, but the 
whole distance gone over was not less than 569 treo- 
graphical miles ; the highest latitude was reached on the 
23rd of July ; absence from the ship sixty-one days. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — I shot a seal through the head as 
he was swimming across the entrance of the bay, and 
although I lost not a moment in pulling alongside of 
him, he sank just as I was in the very act of seizing hold 
of him by the flipper. He was quite dead, and went 
down with a bubbling sound. The ship's company 



Voyages of Discovery. 




'i ,:; 

employed in getting stores on board from the launch. 
Mr. Beverley and I fell in with a covey of ptarmigan or 
grouse [Teirao lai>^optis) in their full, brown summer 
plumage amongst the rocks at the base of the mountain 
above Hecla Cove, and out of the covey of nine birds 
I shot five and wounded a sixth, which escaped. Mr. 
Beverley killed the other three. 

Friday, 2\th. — The launch with all the remaining 
stores were got on board to-day from the beach. 

Sunday^ 26tk. — This forenoon the ship's company 
were employed in getting the ship ready for weighing 
anchor early to-morrow morning, but a heavy fall of 
snow, with a contrary wind, prevented our sailing. This 
evening a boat was sent on shore to complete the supply 
of water for the ship. 

Tuesday, 28//^. — Sylvestre's stove lighted to-day. I 
went on shore this forenoon, and shot a kittiwake and 
snow bunting. The snow in places was very deep, pre- 
senting quite a wintry aspect. 

Wednesday, 29///. — Last evening we got under weigh 
from Hecla Cove, and made sail on our homeward 
passage. The sun but just appeared above the horizon, 
half obscured by a bank of dark clouds, the remainder of 
the sky above very-clear and of a perfect azure blue. In 
the afternoon we were off Wyde Bay, and at 8.30 p.m. 
Red Beach. Here we hovc-to, and sent two boats on 
shore to bring off the travelling-boat with her stores, left 
there on our outward passage. I landed in one of the 
boats, and found that Red Beach evidently took its name 
from the colour of the old red-sandstone formation 
occurring there. I brought off from the beach some of 
the rolled, water-worn pebbles, banded red and white, 
having a very remarkable and pretty appearance. Also 
some mosses and other plants, and shot a kittiwake re- 
turning on board. Wind easterly, with very clear, fine 



Red Beach, Spitzberj^cn. (Scy />. 414.) 


Resume of the geological and botanical features of the island — An 
arctic cemetery — Why the expedition fiiiled. 

At Red Beach I for the last time set my foot on the 
shores of Spitzbergen, and took a final farewell of that, 
to me, remarkable and interesting island, after above two 
months' sojourn, very pleasantly spent, with unusually 
fine weather for such a latitude. My time had been 
fully occupied in collecting specimens of birds, rocks, 
and plants for the natural history collection, making 
sketches of the land, shooting reindeer, and keeping the 
watches, in addition to my ordinary professional duties. 

Hecla Cove is a recess or curve on the eastern side of 
Treurenberg Bay, between which and the finely-formed 
symmetrical mountain, rising some 2000 feet above it, 
extends a considerable level surface or plain of rich 
alluvium, formed in a great measure from the decom- 
position of the friable hornblende rock, which enters so 
largely into the formation of the mountain, huge masses 
of which have rolled down from its summit to a consider- 
able distance from its base : ridges of massive quartz 
of a fine pink colour, capable of taking a beautiful 
polish when cut, and from which I had a desk seal engraved 
with my own initials, which made as good an impression 
on the wax as from any gem. This isolated, low ridge 



Voyages of Discovery. 

O ,.' 

of quartz crops out between the base of the mountain 
and the cove. The rich plain of alluvium is covered 
with a carpet of vegetation consisting of mosses, lichens, 
grasses, and dwarf willows, interspersed with the various 
arctic flowering plants in miniature, amongst which 
the saxifrages and the poppy abound. Some fragments of 
limestone and mica slate occur amongst the ddbris. 

Treurenberg Bay in the Dutch language, I believe, 
means, Bay of Sorrow, or Grief, and must formerly have 
been much resorted to by Dutch whalers, who suffered 
severely from that scourge of high latitudes, scurvy. 
This is evident from the number of graves found here. 
On one of my shooting excursions, on the west or oppo- 
site side of the b;iy, I came all at once upon a perfect 
cemetery, no less a number than thirty piles of stones, 
each having human remains beneath, enclosed in frag- 
ments of wood rudely put together. When this spot 
first arrested my eye in the distance, I was quite at a 
loss to conjecture what all this pile of broken oars, pro- 
jecting above the surface on the north point at the 
entrance to the bay meant, I exhumed a skull from 
this primitive arctic mausoleum. It was bleached per- 
fectly white, through the many winters' frosts and sum- 
mers' thaws to which it had been exposed for the greater 
part of a century. The head-board to this rude grave was 
the blade of an oar, on which wvscut, with a sailor's knife, 
the name of the ship, and that of the young seaman whose 
fate it commemorates. The date was 1 738. I broaght this 
oar-headboard on board with me, and subsequently gave 
it to Captain Parry. The sun at midnight at our de- 
parture, just dipped his lower limb beneath the horizon for 
the first time for the last four months, rising again at once. 

The climate of Spitzbergen (discovered by Barentz in 
the year 1596), under the influence of the Gulf Stream, a 
branch of which laves its shores, is greatly ameliorated, 
as the heating-power of the warm oceanic currents is 

"^1 ;1 

The Gzilf Stream. 


very great. The Gulf Stream mainly originates in the 
Gulf of Mexico, as it passes through the Florida Channel. 
It has a temperature of some 65°, its mean temperature 
being about 40°, and it gives to the south-westerly 
winds their warmth and genial character. This stream 
is estimated at about fifty miles in width, with a depth of 
2000 feet, and a rate of some four miles an hour, of course 
much influenced by the prevailing winds, which act 
powerfully on all oceanic currents. Cold counter-currents 
pass from the poles to the equator, along the bottom of 
the ocean, and beneath the upper warmer currents. 
The temperature of the deep-sea bottom is always little 
above the freezing-point, dark and cold, from the poles 
to the Equator. 

There are said to be interior glaciers in Spitzbergen 
from 2000 to 3000 feet in thickness, and that the land 
is rising at the rate of six feet in a century. The fossil 
remains of trees and plants found would indicate a tem- 
perate, even, subtropical climate having once existed 
here as in other parts of the Arctic regions. 

That our expedition failed in its main object of reach- 
ing the North Pole, owing to the wrong season of the 
year having been selected for boating and sledge 
operations, is clearly evident. The very early months 
of spring afford the only chance of success. Yet there 
certainly was, when we left Spitzbergen, so much open 
water to the northward, that had we been prepared to 
winter there, the ship herself 'vould have had a fair 
chance, if not of reaching the pole itself, of attaining a 
much higher latitude. 

As the compass at the pole will cease to act, should 
plants exist there (which there is no reason whatever 
to doubt if land exists), their sleeping leaves at the mid- 
night hour, when the sun is in the north, would point the 
way, and therefore a true course could be steered by the 
direction indicated by their leaves. 

VOL, I. E e 



Voyages of Discovery. 


Thursday, 30//^ — We fell in with a considerable 
quantity of sailing ice. Passed Cloven Cliff and 
Smeerenberg Harbour, off which we had the hard gale 
of wind on our first making the Spitzbergen coast, com- 
pelling !'s ro take the pack. We rounded Hakluyt 
he. dlaiiu, and entered upon the open sea, with a heavy 
swell. Ihe land along this part of the coast is bold and 
high, rising to 4000 feet, the summits of the mountains 
sharply peaked and covered with snow. 

Friday, 3 >.:t, — Land still in sight ; a few loose streams 
of ice i.a -seu tiie ship this morning ; several fulmar 
petrel folovln^ !n the wake of the ship, after the 
manner of the Mother Cary's chickens or stormy 
perrel. Haslcrly >>' •."; with moderate breezes, and 
cloudy weathe. Via • iay saw several gulls and dove- 
kies amongst the ire. 

Saitirday, Septcjuber \st. — No land in sight, but an 
open sea clear of ice. Strong breezes and cloudy weather, 
with rain at intervals. Wind changing from fair to foul, 

Simday, 2nd. — Mustered at divisions, and the articles 
of war read by Captain Parry. To-day we had roast 
beef for dinner, fresh and excellent, not the least injured 
by the time it has been kept under the maintop, although 
we brought it from England with us — a striking proof 
of the antiseptic powers of the Arctic climate. Having 
had the sun constantly above the horizon for some months 
past, it was quite a novelty to-night, being dark, to have 
to light a candle to go to bed. 

Monday, ^rd. — Blowing a westerly gale, with a heavy 
sea running. At night the moon appeared bright through 
some very dark clouds, half screening it from view, just 
above the horizon. Saw a star, the first we have seen 
for a long, long time past. 

Ttiesday,^th. — The gale abated and nearly fell to a calm 
wind, drawing round ahead, fulmars following the ship. 

At Anchor in Balta Sound, SlictUind. 


Wednesday, ^th, — Arranged the Government collection 
of birds. Hot-air stove lighted. 

Thursday, 6ih, — Mustered at divisions ; and warm 
clothing served out to every officer and man in the ship, 
consisting of a box-cloth jacket and trousers, pair of large 
waterproof boots, one pair of laced shoes, two pairs of 
large hose, comforter, mittens, Welsh wig, Scotch cap, 
and red guernsey frock. Hot-air stove still kept lighted. 
Lat. 68° N. 

Wednesday, \2th. — Crossed the Arctic Circle to-day. 
Weather, as it has been for the last day or two, cloudy, 
with fine rain at times, fresh south-westerly winds, and 
yesterday there was a heavy sea running. A young 
tern was caught on board this morning. Packed up the 
Government collection of birds. 

Saturday, i^f/i. — A flock of young kittiwakes, several 
terns, and a boatswain bird, or arctic gull (Lestrt's para- 
siticus), were flying round the ship ; and on the following 
day a solan goose. 

Monday, 1 jt/i. — Land in sight ; I went up to the fore- 
topmast-head to have a look at it. Lambroness, bearing 
S. 50 W. Saw several solan geese, and at six p.m. a 
French galliot. Fresh westerly winds. 

Juesday, iSt/i, ten a.m. — Fired a gun and hoisted a 
signal for a pilot. At 1.30 p.m. let go the anchor in 
Balta Sound, Isle of Unst, the northernmost of the Shet- 
land Isles. We grounded for a few minutes in enterinir 
the harbour. A number of boats with fowls, eggs, and 
milk soon came off to us from the shore, which exhibited 
little signs of cultivation, being for the most part pasture- 
land, in which a number of cattle were feeding. The 
hills rise in gently swelling slopes, over which a few 
houses are sparsely scattered from the harbour, which 
forms a fine, spacious, land-locked sound, but the water 
shallow. Westerly winds, with squally weather and rain 
at intervals. 

E e 2 




Voyages of Discovery. 


Wednesday, iglh. — Weather much the same, but wind 
northerly. Some ladies from the shore came on board to 
see the ship this forenoon. At five p.m. weighed anchor 
and made all sail from Unst. 

Thursday, 20th. — Fine, clear weather, with a fresh 
northerly breeze. Passed Fair Island. Last night an 
order was issued by Captain Parry for all logs, journals, 
and sketches kept during the voyage by the officers to 
be taken into the cabin this evening on or before 
eight p.m. 

Saturday, 22nd. — The same contrary southerly wind 
which compelled us to put into the Shetlands, now 
obliged us to bear up for the Orkneys. In the evening 
we had a faint display of the aurora borealis, shooting 
upwards towards the zenith in faint rays. The night was 
fine, with a luminous sea, displaying the most brilliant 
aggregation of bright spots on the surface, both along the 
sides and in the wake of the ship as she ploughed her 
way through it. The Milky Way appeared very distinct, 
and a meteor or two were seen, also a few feeble flashes 
of lightning. 

Sunday, 2T,rd. — Fired several guns, and hoisted the 
signal for a pilot, running into Long Hope, where we 
anchored at five p.m. There we found the Chichester 
cutter, a whaler, and several small craft. 

Monday, 2\th. — We got under weigh, and stood out 
for the Pentland Firth, with light northerly winds, but 
calms following, and the wind again coming from the 
southward, we had to bear up for the anchorage in Long 
Hope again, and at 7.30 p.m. came to an anchor. Captain 
Parry decided to take passage in the Chichester revenue 
cutter to Inverness, and from thence to proceed over- 
land to London, accompanied by Mr. Beverley. They 
left the ship at 8.30 p.m. A boat was sent to Kirkwall 
for letters, and the boats employed watering ship. The 
laird of the place and his lady came on board to see the 



At Anclioi- in Yannonth Roads. 421 

ship. The Diligence revenue cutter arrived. I went 
on shore here in the forenoon. 

Saturday^ 29///.— At about six a.m. the wind suddenly 
changing to the northward, we at once availed ourselves 
of the favourable breeze, and making a signal for the 
pilot, got under weigh at 9.30 a.m. This evening poor 
old George Crawford, our ice-master, died. He had 
been on the sick-list at intervals throughout of the 
voyage, with a long-standing pulmonary affection, 
asthma, and all its complications ; but having been in five 
successive voyages to the Arctic regions with Captain 
Parry, he, out of a kindly feeling to serve him, and 
gratify the good old seaman's great desire to accompany 
him in this his last voyage, acceded to his wishes, and 
in any case, whether he had been at home or abroad, 
his days were numbered. He left behind him a young 
widow, and the painful feeling of passing away from this 
world when so near his home and her, sadly disturbed the 
resignation of the poor fellow's last moments. 

Monday, October ist. — A variety of birds have been 
flying round the ship all day— hawks, owls, larks, chaf- 
finches, &c. Three hawks, an owl, and a starling were 
shot; and a sandpiper, which alighted on the ship's 
side, was caught by those on board ; we were at the time 
off the Firth of Forth, but not within sight of the land. 

Friday, 5//?.— Saw an owl and several smaller birds, 

chaffinches, a thrush, and a robin redbreast, about the ship. 

Wednesday, 2,rd. — At eleven a.m. Flamborough Head 

made its appearance through the haze, and we hoisted a 

signal for a pilot, firing several guns at the same time. 

Thursday, 4M.— At 6.30 p.m. anchored in Yarmouth 
Roads. About 7.30 p.m. I went on shore, and set off 
immediately for Southtown, to see my mother and sisters, 
at the time residing there, and having passed a brief 
space of time with them, returned to Yarmouth about 
midnight, and from thence on board. 



Voyages of Discovery. 

Friday, $//i. — Weij,rhccl unchor, and made sail at 
5.30 a.m. Worked through the New Gat with a moderate 
breeze and fine, clear weather, running along the land. 
At nine p.m. we anchored in the Swin. Saw the Harwich 
and Sunk lights in passing. 

Saturday, 6th. — At five a.m. weighed ; at eleven a.m. 
passed Sheerness, and made our number to H.M.S. 
Gloucester. Arrived at Northfleet at three p.m. 

Wednesday, 10///. — Light southerly winds, with rain. 
Received orders to proceed to Deptford to be paid off; 
got under weigh, and as we passed Woolwich returned the 
cheers of a man-of-war fitting out there. At four p.m. 
made fast to the Heroine hulk at Deptford. Whilst 
paying off we had the honour of a visit from the Lord 
High Admiral, his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, 
attended by Sir George Cockburn and Colonel Fitz- 
Clarence. All the officers were individually introduced 
to the Lord High Admiral by Captain Parry. 

Thursday, November \ St. — T\ig. Hecla was paid off at 



Shot in lyeurenberir Bay, Spilzl>ergen, by the officers and crav of 
H.M.S. Hecla /// the year 1827. 

Lieutenant Crozier . 
Purser Hulse . . . , 
Assistant-Surgeon McCorniick . 
Mate Foote • . . . 
Messrs. McCormick and Foote . 
Gunner Brothers 
Boatswain Smith 
Carpenter Fiddes 








Shii)'s Company 









After a long life devoted to Polar Discovery, both north 
and south, as mine has been, it may naturally enough 
be expected from me, that I should refer to the present 
renewed interest in Arctic research, occasioned by the 
recent spirited, though unhappily disastrous private ex- 
peditions to Franz Josef's Land, sent out by Austria 
and America, and so lately by our own countrymen. I 
therefore offer, as a sequel to the foregoing pages, my 
own opinion of the probability of reaching either pole, 
and the plans from past experience I would adopt for 
the attainment of so desirable a result. 

The North Pole being undoubtedly the most acces- 
sible of the two poles, I shall begin with it, and briefly 
review the avenues of approach to it, with the attempts 
made both by our own country and others, and the cause 
of their failures originating in the meridian selected for 
each attempt. 

Anterior to my employment in the Franklin search, I 
had entertained more favourable views of the approach 
to the pole through Smith's Sound than subsequent 
experience justified ; and before the American expeditions 
of search under Kane and Hayes, I had in my plans laid 
before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, called 


t'ojat^vs of Discoi'cry, 

; ill 

the attention of their lordships to the fact of the stronjj; 
currents and heavy swell setting out of Smith's Sound, 
from which I drew the inference that the so-called 
sound was really an opening into the Polar Ocean ; and 
as I had always been impressed with the belief that 
Franklin would attempt the Wellington Channel, he 
might possibly, if beset in the polar pack, be compelled 
to make a retrograde movement. Consequently I held 
that Smith's Sound should not be omitted in the search, 
and long before even the American expedition was con- 
templated, I had offered to explore it together with 
Jones Sound and the Wellington Channel into the Polar 

Subsequent events have not only confirmed the sound- 
ness of the views I then held, but, what is of far more 
importance, the discovery of the opening of Smith's 
Sound into the Polar Ocean, now claimed for the star- 
spangled flag, might well have been our own, had my 
offer at the time been accepted by the Admiralty. 

Be this as it may, the very intricate nature of the 
tortuous, long, ice-encumbered channel, so beset with 
insuperable difficulties, as the Americans found it — in 
Kane's case terminating in a disastrous retreat from their 
ship in boats, and in Hall's a still narrower escape on 
the drifting floe — convinced me that 1 could no longer 
entertain the faintest hope that the pole would ever be 
reached by the Smith's Channel route. This was before 
the attempt made by Sir George Nares, who found, as 
I had anticipated, after the Alert had struggled through 
the drifting packs which are disgorged into Baffin's Bay 
from the Polar Ocean, through the intricate navigation 
of this narrow, irregular, rocky strait, that no secure har- 
bour was available at its emboiicliure as a point-d' appui 
for the security of the ships, but only a barren, exposed 
shore, on which the enormous, hummocky, heavy, polar 
pack rested, barring all progress north either of ship, 
boat, or sledge. 

Phxu for rcachino the Norllt Pole. 


Now, this vast pack of ice, resting' as it does on the 
whole hnc! of coast — eastward from the north coast of 
Greenland continuously, to the enibouclittre cf the Wel- 
lington Channel, and from thence to H(;hrin<j^'s Strait — 
oscillates backwards and forwards from the shore, under 
the influence of winds and currents, especially durinsj^ the 
summer season of these regions, when offsets separate 
and make their way through the openings of Smith's 
Channel, Wellington Channel, and Hehring's Strait, thus 
preventing any undue accumulation of ice within the 
polar area, and by this compensation maintaining an 
equilibrium. The position of this polar pack, skirting as 
it does the whole sea-board, negatives any attempt to 
reach the pole either by way of Smith's or Wellington 
Channel, or Behrlng's Strait ; and I am further disposed 
to think that the route at present mooted by way of 
Franz Josefs Land deserves no more consideration, 
judging from the unsuccessful results of the recent 
Austrian, American, and English private expeditions to 
that quarter, in which each of the ship of the rc;spective 
expeditions were crushed in the heavy packs of ice con- 
centrated in the vicinity of Franz Josef's Land, owing to 
the peculiar relative position of Spitzbergen and the 
latter land, resulting in the accumulation of pent-up heavy 
floes clinging to its shores or drifting about the seas 

The abundance of animal life met with on the shores 
of Franz Josef's Land, and assigned as one reason for 
making that land a base for operations, is, I believe, in 
no way owing to the land being more productive or 
better suited for the support of the animal creation than 
is Spitzbergen, but simply because it has not been, 
until recently, trodden by the foot of man, whose de- 
structive influence would soon thin the numbers of the 
animals, as doubtless it has done in Spitzbergen since my 
sojourn on its shores, when engaged in Parry's attempt 
to reach the pole, more than half a century ago, when 


Voyages of Discovery. 

reindeer and wild fowl abounded there amply sufficient 
for our wants. 

Spitzbergen should be the base of operations in any 
future attempt to reach the North Pole. Parry's failure 
was wholly and entirely owing to the wrong season of 
the year having been selected for boating and sledging 
over polar ice. The plan which I have had under con- 
sideration for years past, I now lay before my readers. 

1+ -1 


On the return of Captain Sir George Nares's Expedi- 
tion, after his attempt to reach the pole by Smith's 
Channel, I had occasion to address a letter on service 
to the late Mr. Ward Hunt, dated in 1876, at the time 
he was First Lord of the Admiralty, in which I em- 
phatically called attention to the Spitzbergen Sea as t/ie 
route to the pole. 

Whilst on this subject I cannot refrain from expressing 
the gratification I felt in having my name associated with 
my worthy old chief's, the late Admiral Sir Edward 
Parry, both by Sir George Nares, who has named a 
valley after me, on the north-west coast of Greenland, 
and my old friend, Vice-Admiral Sir Leopold McClin- 
tock, who in like manner has attached my name to an 
inlet in Melville Island, and to both those distinguished 
officers I here record my best thanks for the compliment 
paid me. 

That the North Pole will be reached, though possibly 
not in my time, yet before the close of the present cen- 
tury, I feel as sure as I do that the unfurling a flag at 
the Arctic or the Antarctic Pole will stand second to 
none as a brilliant geographical problem solved ; not the 
discovery even by Columbus of a New World ; akhough 
its subsequent utility may be of no moment when com- 
pared with that of a fourth quarter of the globe opened 
to our race. 

Oxvji Plan by the Spifzbcr^cu Sea. 437 

The Spitzbcrgcn Sea, as far as our experience has 
.Qone, offers not only by far the best, but, as I believe, the 
only practicable approach to the pole. The Polar Ocean 
between Spitzbcrgen and the pole is undoubtedly more 
open to navigation at certain seasons than on any other 
meridian of the entire polar area. The current settintr 
to the southwards, as we found it, transferring immense 
floes and fields of ice from the vicinity of the pole, to 
be broken up into the huge hummocky packs by the 
winds and currents as they approach the land, must 
necessarily leave in their wake corresponding open spaces 
of water in the north. The inference to be drawn from 
this is that there is no land sufficient to interfere with 
the navigation either for ships or boats ; at most, pro- 
bably, small groups or archipelagos of islets similar to 
the Seven Sisters off Spitzbergen. The warmer tem- 
perature of the Gulf Stream, a branch of which flows 
northwards, doubtless has the effect of breaking up the 
ice here, and, as a result, leaving much open water at 
intervals, and when combined with a continuance of 
strong northerly gales acting with powerful currents 
seasons may occur in which I can readily conceive a small 
handy steam-vessel, starting from the shores of Spitz- 
bergen. at a favourable crisis, might reach the pole itself, 
or at all events make a very near approach to it, and be 
back in one season. 

Should the steamer be unsuccessful the first season I 
would make Treurenh-rg Bay my winter quarters, and 
:r.oor the steamer in Hecla Cove, Spitzbergen, a small 
curve on the port side as you enter the bay, at the base 
of a picturesque mountain, and early in the ensuing spring 
say the last week in the month of February, before the 
temperature began to rise so as to affect the ice-floes 
the pole might be reached by sledging over the vast 
ice-fields, which at a distance from the land would'in 
all probability present a smoother surface for drao-rrintr 
the sledge over than the broken-up, hummocky condkion 


ft '''i 


Im ,,, 



1 1-^ 


1 1! 


f .-' 

1 i| :!■; 



Voyages of Discovery. 

of the coast-line floes. If the season proved favourable, 
with moderately calm weather and a respite from heavy 
northerly gales, the enterprise might be accomplished of 
reaching the pole and returning to the ship in the space 
of three months, that is to say by the end of April, A 
boat, of course, should accompany the sledging party, 
and Esquimaux dogs be employed for drawing the sledge. 

The outfit for such an expedition should be compact 
and complete — a small vessel drawing little water, well 
strengthened by doubling, especiaMy the bows, of from 150 
to 200 tons, propelled by a powerful engine ; a brigan- 
tine being the most handy rig for manoeuvring amongst 
ice. Such a vessel is more buoyant and less likely to get 
nipped between contending floes, from the tendency of 
the hull, having a well-proportioned keel, to rise above 
the pressure to the upper surface of the ice, her small 
draught of water enabling her to navigate with greater 
security the shallow bays and straits, and in any damage 
to her hull can be hove down with greater facility by a 
small crew, which should consist of twenty able seamen, 
and three mates for the charge of the watches ; and, from 
their experience amongst ice, volunteers from the whale 
fishery would be most desirable in every way for a service 
like this. 

The vessel should be provisioned for two years, with 
a supply of coals for that period, and as a safeguard 
against unforeseen accidents, it would be very desirable 
to take out the framework of a house, capable of housing 
the whole party throughout the winter, in the event of 
any disaster happening to the steamer, which could be 
put up on the spot selected for the base of operations in 

All kinds of salted provisions should be rigidly ex- 
cluded from the dietary composing the outfit, which should 
mainly consist of preserved meats, poultry, and vege- 
tables, with those excellent farinaceous articles of diet, 
macaroni, rice, and arrowroot ; and that best of all anti- 

Class of Vessel for the Enterprise. 


scorbutics, the cranberry, with an unlimited supply of 
lime juice — our sheet-anchor in cases of scurvy ; malt 
liquors of sound and good quality will be found valuable 
resources to " splice the mainbrace " with. After any ex- 
traordinary exertions and fatigue under cold and privation, 
good old Cognac brandy is the best and only stimulant 
needed : in cases of extreme exhaustion and prostra- 
tion, arising from exposure to intense cold and privation, 
we have nothing in the whole " Materia Medica " to 
equal it as a prompt restorative of lowered nerve-power, 
and where the state of the general health needs some 
stimulant, it is a much safer one, judiciously taken, than 
any of the ordinary wines of the present day, and all other 
forms of alcohol are unnecessary luxuries, far from being 
conducive to health or comfort. Well-preserved fresh 
fruits are generally as beneficial as all kinds of dried 
ones are injurious and prejudicial. During the long Arctic 
night, when from want of proper exercise and a monoto- 
nous mode of life the appetite fails, the nights disposed to 
sleeplessness, a glass of quinine wine twice a day is often 
beneficial ; in the proportion of about ten grains of 
quinine dissolved in twenty grains of citric acid, and added 
to a bottle of Marsala. 

I should consider twelve men a sufficient crew for the 
sledge and boat, with the aid of about a dozen good 
Esquimaux dogs ; two of the mates as officers for sledge 
and boat, and the third mate, with the remaining eight 
men, to be left in charge of the vessel and house at Spitz- 
bergen, to shoot reindeer and eider duck, and other wilil 
fowl, as a supply for the ensuing winter, during the ab- 
sence of the polar party. A whale-boat of sufficient size 
to hold the party, or perhaps two smaller boats and two 
sledges might be found more manageable by a small crew. 
The size of the fore-and-aft vessel I have proposed may 
by some be considered small for such an undertaking ; 
but old Baffin in the Discovery, of only fifty tons, circum- 
navigated the bay which bears his name, and accomplished 



Voyages of Discovery. 

more in one season than more ostentatious expeditions 
have since done in many. In short, I would myself 
prefer a vessel of loo tons to any other, as there would 
be fewer to feed. 

I! t 


An enterprise far more difficult to encounter in all its 
bearings than the one to the opposite hemisphere, a. 
climate vastly more severe, a navigation infinitely more 
intricate and dangerous in character, and removed so 
far from any base of operations ; with no known har- 
bour for the security of the ships as winter quarters. 

As the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemi- 
sphere, the months for exploration will be December, 
January, February, and March ; therefore the ships 
should take their departure from England about mid- 
summer, and for this service there must be two ships 
of much larger dimensions, and in every way on a 
more extensive scale of equipment, than is needed fof 
the north. They must be provisioned for three years, 
and well equipped with whale-boats, each ship having 
powerful engines. 

The provisions and stores of a similar kind as already 
described for the North Polar outfit, only on a larger 
scale, and both the ships and equipment needing all the 
resources that can only be supplied from a Government 
dockyard. Therefore an expedition fitted out by the 
Admiralty would afford the best guarantee for success. 
Two frigate-built ships of about looo tons each, bark- 
rigged, and well strengthened by stout doubling, with 
crews numbering lOO in each, picked seamen, and officers 
selected for their scientific attainments and zeal in this 
branch of the service, form desiderata of great importance. 
Astronomy, Geology, Zoology, and Botany, should each 
have its representative, and an artist skilled in the de- 
lineation of scenery, birds, and animal life generally, and 
the portraiture of savages. Large guns for firing signals. 

Plan for an Attempt to reach the South Pole. 431 


to prevent the separation of the ships amid the dense 
fogs of the Antarctic Seas. 

I would recommend the meridian of Tasmania, but east- 
ward of the track the Erebus and Terror followed, so as to 
attain that point of the Barrier where our own progress was 
finally arrested, and to follow it up, or whatever coast-line 
might turn up, and to explore every opening in the pack, 
barrier, or coast-line, holding out any chance of approach- 
ing the pole. On the passage out to Tasmania, if run 
short of coals for the engines, they may be replenished at 
Kerguelen's Land, as I have elsewhere stated in my 
account of that island, and only at the expense of a trifling 
dJtour to the southward for that purpose. 

The ships, after refitting in the Derwent, and com- 
pleting supplies at Hobart Town, might commence their 
voyage south in the month of November, and, if unsuc- 
cessful the first season, might bear up for Cape Horn 
and winter, and refit at the Falkland Islands, and in the 
ensuing summer try the track of Weddell ; and lastly, fail- 
ing on that meridian, try the one from the Cape of Good 
Hope, wintering and refitting there. 

We know so little at present of the navigation of the 
Antarctic Ocean, that it would be presumption to point out 
any one particular course as preferable to another. Much 
must depend upon the movements of those vast packs of 
ice drifting around the polar area, at the mercy of the 
prevailing winds and currents, leaving temporary open- 
ings in the direction of the continent or the pole ; and 
it is only by patiently circumnavigating that area during 
the season, and trying every promising opening, whilst 
tracing the circumference of the pack, that any successful 
advance in the direction of the pole can be hoped for. 
Carefully avoiding, by close attention to the direction of 
the winds and currents, that the ships are not caught and 
beset in the centre of one of these enormous packs, and 
the season be thus sacrificed, as was our experience in the 
Erebus and Terror for some six weeks. 


Voyages of Discovery. 



As no one has yet wintered in the Antarctic regions, 
it would in the interests of science be most desirable to 
do so, couH a harbour be discovered ; but therein lies 
the difficulty. All the breaks and openings along the 
whole line of coast are sealed up with the eternal ice and 
glaciers, literally a wall of ice extending along the whole 
seaboard — as far as our own examination of this vast 
continent went. 

Yet, had I the command of an expedition in those 
seas, ! would strain every effort to secure some well- 
protected nook, beyond the inroad and pressure of the 
packs in the coast-line of the Gulf of Erebus and Terror 
or Macmurdo Bay, for winter quarters. 

From this spot what a sublime object of interest and 
awe must the burning volcanic Mount Erebus present 
throughout the long, dark winter's night, with its sur- 
roundings of everlasting ice and glaciers, emitting its 
dense smoke and flame, and possibly at intervals grand 
eruptions. What a glorious spectacle of its great 
Creator's work would it present ; a field for thought 
and observation ! What with magnetism, and the op- 
portunity of studying the Antarctic winter's sky, it 
would amply repay the outlay of such a voyage of dis- 
covery as I have endeavoured to call attention to ; and 
even if the main object failed of planting our flag on 
the pole, a nearer approach than hitherto, I think, at 
the least would be made. 

Whales, seals, penguins large and small, and a variety 
of sea fowl abound on the ocean ; but there is no vege- 
tation, not even seiweed on the shores. The wandering 
albatross does not extend its flight so far. But I met 
with the stormy petrel at the Great Barrier, as I did in 
the north in the Wellington Channel. 




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